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Neil A. Martin, Jackson Beatty, Russell A. Johnson, Marcia L. Collaer, Fernando Viñuela, Donald P. Becker and Marc R. Nuwer

✓ In order to accurately estimate the risk of surgery for dominant perisylvian arteriovenous malformations, the topographical relationship of the lesion to language cortex must be determined. A case is presented in which a magnetoencephalographic (MEG) study was used to map preoperatively and noninvasively an intracortical source of speech-receptive cortex in a 25-year-old right-handed man with a dominant left temporal lobe arteriovenous malformation. The speech-evoked magnetic field was analyzed at 36 positions over the left hemisphere in response to presentations of the consonant-vowel syllables “da” and “ga.” A topographical map of the magnetic component evoked at 110 msec after stimulus onset, which was negative going to the vertex in concurrent electrical recordings, was congruent with a superficial cortical neuronal current source. This source was displaced from that usually observed in normal individuals to tonal or click stimuli, being superior to the probable location of auditory cortex, and superior and anterior to the probable location of Wernicke's area as conventionally described. The MEG results were in accord with the determination of position of a language-processing cortical area as assessed by direct electrical stimulation of the cortex during surgery under local anesthesia, and by superselective Amytal (amobarbital) injection during angiography. The MEG recordings and exposed brain stimulation sites were coordinated by cranial measurements, skull x-ray landmarks, and angiographic anatomy. Investigations such as this, which compare MEG findings with those from established clinical procedures, are an essential step in determining the physiological and anatomical utility of magnetoencephalography for noninvasive clinical functional localization.

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Paul M. Vespa, Marc R. Nuwer, Valeriy Nenov, Elisabeth Ronne-Engstrom, David A. Hovda, Marvin Bergsneider, Daniel F. Kelly, Neil A. Martin and Donald P. Becker

Object

The early pathophysiological features of traumatic brain injury observed in the intensive care unit (ICU) have been described in terms of altered cerebral blood flow, altered brain metabolism, and neurochemical excitotoxicity. Seizures occur in animal models of brain injury and in human brain injury. Previous studies of posttraumatic seizures in humans have been based principally on clinical observations without a systematic approach to electroencephalographic (EEG) recording of seizures. The purpose of this study was to determine prospectively the incidence of convulsive and nonconvulsive seizures by using continuous EEG monitoring in patients in the ICU during the initial 14 days postinjury.

Methods

Ninety-four patients with moderate-to-severe brain injuries underwent continuous EEG monitoring beginning at admission to the ICU (mean delay 9.6 ± 5.4 hours) and extending up to 14 days postinjury. Convulsive and nonconvulsive seizures occurred in 21 (22%) of the 94 patients, with six of them displaying status epilepticus. In more than half of the patients (52%) the seizures were nonconvulsive and were diagnosed on the basis of EEG studies alone. All six patients with status epilepticus died, compared with a mortality rate of 18 (24%) of 73 in the nonseizure group (p < 0.001). The patients with status epilepticus had a shorter mean length of stay (9.14 ± 5.9 days compared with 14 ± 9 days (t-test, p < 0.03). Seizures occurred despite initiation of prophylactic phenytoin on admission to the emergency room, with maintenance at mean levels of 16.6 ± 2.8 mg/dl. No differences in key prognostic factors (such as the Glasgow Coma Scale score, early hypoxemia, early hypotension, or 1-month Glasgow Outcome Scale score) were found between the patients with seizures and those without.

Conclusions

Seizures occur in more than one in five patients during the 1st week after moderate-to-severe brain injury and may play a role in the pathobiological conditions associated with brain injury.

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Paul M. Vespa, Marc R. Nuwer, Valeriy Nenov, Elisabeth Ronne-Engstrom, David A. Hovda, Marvin Bergsneider, Daniel F. Kelly, Neil A. Martin and Donald P. Becker

Object. The early pathophysiological features of traumatic brain injury observed in the intensive care unit (ICU) have been described in terms of altered cerebral blood flow, altered brain metabolism, and neurochemical excitotoxicity. Seizures occur in animal models of brain injury and in human brain injury. Previous studies of posttraumatic seizures in humans have been based principally on clinical observations without a systematic approach to electroencephalographic (EEG) recording of seizures. The purpose of this study was to determine prospectively the incidence of convulsive and nonconvulsive seizures by using continuous EEG monitoring in patients in the ICU during the initial 14 days postinjury.

Methods. Ninety-four patients with moderate-to-severe brain injuries underwent continuous EEG monitoring beginning at admission to the ICU (mean delay 9.6 ± 5.4 hours) and extending up to 14 days postinjury. Convulsive and nonconvulsive seizures occurred in 21 (22%) of the 94 patients, with six of them displaying status epilepticus. In more than half of the patients (52%) the seizures were nonconvulsive and were diagnosed on the basis of EEG studies alone. All six patients with status epilepticus died, compared with a mortality rate of 24% (18 of 73) in the nonseizure group (p < 0.001). The patients with status epilepticus had a shorter mean length of stay (9.14 ± 5.9 days compared with 14 ± 9 days [t-test, p < 0.03]). Seizures occurred despite initiation of prophylactic phenytoin on admission to the emergency room, with maintenance at mean levels of 16.6 ± 2.8 mg/dl. No differences in key prognostic factors (such as the Glasgow Coma Scale score, early hypoxemia, early hypotension, or 1-month Glasgow Outcome Scale score) were found between the patients with seizures and those without.

Conclusions. Seizures occur in more than one in five patients during the 1st week after moderate-to-severe brain injury and may play a role in the pathobiological conditions associated with brain injury.

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Paul M. Vespa, W. John Boscardin, David A. Hovda, David L. McArthur, Marc R. Nuwer, Neil A. Martin, Valeriy Nenov, Thomas C. Glenn, Marvin Bergsneider, Daniel F. Kelly and Donald P. Becker

Object. Early prediction of outcomes in patients after they suffer traumatic brain injury (TBI) is often nonspecific and based on initial imaging and clinical findings alone, without direct physiological testing. Improved outcome prediction is desirable for ethical, social, and financial reasons. The goal of this study was to determine the usefulness of continuous electroencephalography (EEG) monitoring in determining prognosis early after TBI, while the patient is in the intensive care unit.

Methods. The authors hypothesized that the reduced percentage of alpha variability (PAV) in continuous EEG tracings indicates a poor prognosis. Prospective continuous EEG monitoring was performed in 89 consecutive patients with moderate to severe TBI (Glasgow Coma Scale [GCS] Scores 3–12) from 0 to 10 days after injury. The PAV was calculated daily, and the time course and trends of the PAV were analyzed in comparison with the patient's Glasgow Outcome Scale (GOS) score at the time of discharge.

In patients with GCS scores of 8 or lower, a PAV value of 0.1 or lower is highly predictive of a poor outcome or death (positive predictive value 86%). The determinant PAV value was obtained by Day 3 after injury. Persistent PAV values of 0.1 or lower over several days or worsening of the PAV to a value of 0.1 or lower indicated a high likelihood of poor outcome (GOS Scores 1 and 2). In comparison with the combination of traditional initial clinical indicators of outcome (GCS score, pupillary response to light, patient age, results of computerized tomography scanning, and early hypotension or hypoxemia), the early PAV value during the initial 3 days after injury independently improved prognostic ability (p < 0.01).

Conclusions. Continuous EEG monitoring performed with particular attention paid to the PAV is a sensitive and specific method of prognosis that can indicate outcomes in patients with moderate to severe TBI within 3 days postinjury.