Common patterns of EEG reactivity in post-anoxic coma identified by quantitative analyses

Birger Johnsen*, Jesper Jeppesen, Christophe Henri Valdemar Duez

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journal/Conference contribution in journal/Contribution to newspaperJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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Objective: Description of typical kinds of EEG reactivity (EEG-R) in post-anoxic coma using a quantitative method. Methods: Study of 101 out-of-hospital cardiac arrest patients, 71 with good outcome (cerebral performance category scale ≤ 2). EEG was recorded 12–24 hours after cardiac arrest and four noxious, one auditory, and one visual stimulation were applied for 30 seconds each. Individual reference intervals for the power in the delta, theta, alpha, and beta bands were calculated based on six 2-second resting epochs just prior to stimulations. EEG-R in consecutive 2-second epochs after stimulation was expressed in Z-scores. Results: EEG-R occurred roughly equally frequent as an increase or as a decrease in EEG activity. Sternal rub and sound stimulation were most provocative with the most pronounced changes as an increase in delta activity 4.5–8.5 seconds after stimulation and a decrease in theta activity 0.5–4.5 seconds after stimulation. These parameters predicted good outcome with an AUC of 0.852 (95 % CI: 0.771–0.932). Conclusions: Quantitative EEG-R is a feasible method for identification of common types of reactivity, for evaluation of stimulation methods, and for prognostication. Significance: This method provides an objective measure of EEG-R revealing knowledge about the nature of EEG-R and its use as a diagnostic tool.

Original languageEnglish
JournalClinical Neurophysiology
Pages (from-to)143-153
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2022


  • Cardiac arrest
  • EEG reactivity
  • Prognostication
  • Quantitative EEG


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