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Interrater Agreement of EEG Interpretation After Pediatric Cardiac Arrest Using Standardized Critical Care EEG Terminology

Abend, Nicholas S.*,†; Massey, Shavonne L.*,†; Fitzgerald, Mark*,†; Fung, France*,†; Atkin, Natalie J.; Xiao, Rui§; Topjian, Alexis A.

Journal of Clinical Neurophysiology: November 2017 - Volume 34 - Issue 6 - p 534–541
doi: 10.1097/WNP.0000000000000424
Original Research

Purpose: We evaluated interrater agreement of EEG interpretation in a cohort of critically ill children resuscitated after cardiac arrest using standardized EEG terminology.

Methods: Four pediatric electroencephalographers scored 10-minute EEG segments from 72 consecutive children obtained 24 hours after return of circulation using the American Clinical Neurophysiology Society's (ACNS) Standardized Critical Care EEG terminology. The percent of perfect agreement and the kappa coefficient were calculated for each of the standardized EEG variables and a predetermined composite EEG background category.

Results: The overall background category (normal, slow–disorganized, discontinuous, or attenuated–featureless) had almost perfect agreement (kappa 0.89).The ACNS Standardized Critical Care EEG variables had agreement that was (1) almost perfect for the seizures variable (kappa 0.93), (2) substantial for the continuity (kappa 0.79), voltage (kappa 0.70), and sleep transient (kappa 0.65) variables, (3) moderate for the rhythmic or periodic patterns (kappa 0.55) and interictal epileptiform discharge (kappa 0.60) variables, and (4) fair for the predominant frequency (kappa 0.23) and symmetry (kappa 0.31) variables. Condensing variable options led to improved agreement for the continuity and voltage variables.

Conclusions: These data support the use of the standardized terminology and the composite overall background category as a basis for standardized EEG interpretation for subsequent studies assessing EEG background for neuroprognostication after pediatric cardiac arrest.

Departments of *Neurology,

Pediatrics, and

Anesthesia and Critical Care Medicine, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.A.; and

§Center for Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.A.

Address correspondence and reprint requests to Nicholas S. Abend, MD, MSCE, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, CTRB 10016 3501 Civic Center Boulevard, Philadelphia, PA 19104, U.S.A.; e-mail: abend@email.chop.edu.

The authors have no funding or conflicts of interest to disclose.

© 2017 by the American Clinical Neurophysiology Society