The EEG as an independent indicator of mortality and healthcare utilization.

Department of Neurology, Geisinger Medical Center, Danville, PA 17822, USA.
Clinical neurophysiology: official journal of the International Federation of Clinical Neurophysiology (Impact Factor: 3.12). 09/2009; 120(10):1777-81. DOI:10.1016/j.clinph.2009.07.041
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Determine whether EEG findings could be used as an independent prognostic indicator of outcomes in a general patient population.
A large electronic medical record was used to merge the results of EEG studies with the results of medical evaluations including: medications prescribed, medical diagnoses, blood test results, imaging results, and outcomes in 3193 patients. Univariable and multivariable analyses were undertaken to determine whether the EEG had a role in predicting outcomes independent of other factors in a clinic population.
Patients with abnormal EEG's had significantly higher mortalities, greater cost of healthcare and more evaluation visits than patients with normal EEG's in every age range independent of the presence other medical conditions. The costs associated with caring for a patient with an abnormal EEG were roughly three times that of a patient with a normal EEG. The risk of death in the multivariable analysis was 3.7 times higher in patients with an abnormal EEG than in patients with a normal EEG.
In addition to its traditional diagnostic implications, the EEG may convey information about general level of illness and the cost of caring for patients.
Certain EEG findings may identify high risk patients and thus may open the door to possible interventions.

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Mark M Stecker