Although hypothermic circulatory arrest (HCA) is an essential technique to protect the brain during cardiac surgery, neurological morbidity is not uncommon. Electroencephalography (EEG) can be used to guide anaesthetic and HCA strategy, detect neurological abnormalities and prognose outcome. My department, in conjunction with cardiac surgery, the intensive care unit, and University of Birmingham performed a systematic review to explore the role of perioperative EEG in adults and children undergoing cardiac surgery with HCA. We did not find any study that compared detailed outcome in those monitored with EEG to those not monitored with EEG. We concluded that more evidence demonstrating EEG utility is required, and instead, I will present a narrative review of ways in which specialist centres utilise perioperative EEG. I will provide theory as to why the EEG may be useful in the setting of cardiac surgery and suggest ways in which the EEG could be prospectively researched.
Will McDevitt studied undergraduate Human Biology, Clinical Neurophysiology, and postgraduate Neurosensory science. He is a visiting clinical fellow at Aston University and leads the intraoperative neuromonitoring service at Birmingham Children’s Hospital. which provides a near-continuous assessment of the functional integrity of the nervous system. His research interests are in the detection, prevention, and prognostication of intraoperative neurological injury, and following cardiac arrest. His current research activity includes a feasibility study of electroencephalography (EEG) during infant aortic arch repair, and he has recently completed a systematic review on the utility of EEG in cardiac surgery.