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In Clinical neurophysiology : official journal of the International Federation of Clinical Neurophysiology

OBJECTIVE : To study if limited frontotemporal electroencephalogram (EEG) can guide sedation changes in highly infectious novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients receiving neuromuscular blocking agent.

METHODS : 98 days of continuous frontotemporal EEG from 11 consecutive patients was evaluated daily by an epileptologist to recommend reduction or maintenance of the sedative level. We evaluated the need to increase sedation in the 6 h following this recommendation. Post-hoc analysis of the quantitative EEG was correlated with the level of sedation using a machine learning algorithm.

RESULTS : Eleven patients were studied for a total of ninety-eight sedation days. EEG was consistent with excessive sedation on 57 (58%) and adequate sedation on 41 days (42%). Recommendations were followed by the team on 59% (N = 58; 19 to reduce and 39 to keep the sedation level). In the 6 h following reduction in sedation, increases of sedation were needed in 7 (12%). Automatized classification of EEG sedation levels reached 80% (±17%) accuracy.

CONCLUSIONS : Visual inspection of a limited EEG helped sedation depth guidance. In a secondary analysis, our data supported that this determination may be automated using quantitative EEG analysis.

SIGNIFICANCE : Our results support the use of frontotemporal EEG for guiding sedation in patients with COVID-19.

Michalak Andrew J, Mendiratta Anil, Eliseyev Andrey, Ramnath Brian, Chung Jane, Rasnow Jarret, Reid Lawrence, Salerno Steven, GarcĂ­a Paul S, Agarwal Sachin, Roh David, Park Soojin, Bazil Carl, Claassen Jan


Consciousness, EEG, Limited electroencephalography, Novel coronavirus, Severe acute respiratory distress syndrome