AUTHORS: Rossetti AO, Tzovara A, Murray MM, De Lucia M, Oddo M

Journal of Clinical Neurophysiology, 31(4): 356-61, August 2014



EEG and somatosensory evoked potential are highly predictive of poor outcome after cardiac arrest; their accuracy for good recovery is however low. We evaluated whether addition of an automated mismatch negativity-based auditory discrimination paradigm (ADP) to EEG and somatosensory evoked potential improves prediction of awakening.


EEG and ADP were prospectively recorded in 30 adults during therapeutic hypothermia and in normothermia. We studied the progression of auditory discrimination on single-trial multivariate analyses from therapeutic hypothermia to normothermia, and its correlation to outcome at 3 months, assessed with cerebral performance categories.


At 3 months, 18 of 30 patients (60%) survived; 5 had severe neurologic impairment (cerebral performance categories = 3) and 13 had good recovery (cerebral performance categories = 1-2). All 10 subjects showing improvements of auditory discrimination from therapeutic hypothermia to normothermia regained consciousness: ADP was 100% predictive for awakening. The addition of ADP significantly improved mortality prediction (area under the curve, 0.77 for standard model including clinical examination, EEG, somatosensory evoked potential, versus 0.86 after adding ADP, P = 0.02).


This automated ADP significantly improves early coma prognostic accuracy after cardiac arrest and therapeutic hypothermia. The progression of auditory discrimination is strongly predictive of favorable recovery and appears complementary to existing prognosticators of poor outcome. Before routine implementation, validation on larger cohorts is warranted.