Continuous electroencephalogram detection of non-convulsive seizures in the pediatric intensive care unit: review of the utility and impact on management and outcomes
Non-convulsive seizures (NCS) are common among critically ill children with acute encephalopathy. Continuous electroencephalogram (CEEG) monitoring is an indispensable tool to detect NCS, which is essential to guiding management and assessing prognosis. Risk factors for NCS are highest in pediatric intensive care unit (PICU) patients with altered mental status (AMS) and a recently witnessed clinical seizure, acute changes on neuroimaging, and/or interictal abnormalities on CEEG. Screening for at least 24 hours in at risk pediatric populations is ideal, but around half of NCS may be detected within the first hour. Rapid treatment of prolonged seizures or status epilepticus is critical, as higher seizure burdens have been associated with poorer outcomes in critically ill children. This review integrates current information on critically ill children with AMS and the use of CEEGs, risk factors for NCS, duration of CEEG monitoring, and how the detection of NCS impacts management and outcomes.