Neurophysiology is an essential tool for clinicians dealing with patients in the intensive care unit. Because of consciousness disorders, clinical examination is frequently limited. In this setting, neurophysiological examination provides valuable information about seizure detection, treatment guidance, and neurological outcome. However, to acquire reliable signals, some technical precautions need to be known. EEG is prone to artifacts, and the intensive care unit environment is rich in artifact sources (electrical devices including mechanical ventilation, dialysis, and sedative medications, and frequent noise, etc.). This review will discuss and summarize the current technical guidelines for EEG acquisition and also some practical pitfalls specific for the intensive care unit.
*Department of Neurology, Hôpital du Valais, Sion, Switzerland;
†Department of Clinical Neurosciences, CHUV and Lausanne University, Lausanne, Switzerland; and
‡Department of Neurology, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.A.
Address correspondence and reprint requests to Vincent Alvarez, MD, Hôpital du Valais, Service de Neurologie, Av. du Grand-Champsec 80, CH-1950-Sion, Switzerland; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.