RESEARCH SUPPORT, NON-U.S. GOV'T
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Recovery of amplitude integrated electroencephalographic background patterns within 24 hours of perinatal asphyxia.

OBJECTIVE: To assess the time course of recovery of severely abnormal initial amplitude integrated electroencephalographic (aEEG) patterns (flat trace (FT), continuous low voltage (CLV), or burst suppression (BS)) in full term asphyxiated neonates, in relation to other neurophysiological and neuroimaging findings and neurodevelopmental outcome.

METHODS: A total of 190 aEEGs of full term infants were reviewed. The neonates were admitted within 6 hours of birth to the neonatal intensive care unit because of perinatal asphyxia, and aEEG recording was started immediately. In all, 160 infants were included; 65 of these had an initial FT or CLV pattern and 25 an initial BS pattern. Neurodevelopmental outcome was assessed using a full neurological examination and the Griffiths' mental developmental scale.

RESULTS: In the FT/CLV group, the background pattern recovered to continuous normal voltage within 24 hours in six of the 65 infants (9%). All six infants survived the neonatal period; one had a severe disability, and five were normal at follow up. In the BS group, the background pattern improved to normal voltage in 12 of the 25 infants (48%) within 24 hours. Of these infants, one died, five survived with moderate to severe disability, two with mild disability, and four were normal. The patients who did not recover within 24 hours either died in the neonatal period or survived with a severe disability.

CONCLUSION: In this study there was a small group of infants who presented with a severely abnormal aEEG background pattern within six hours of birth, but who achieved recovery to a continuous normal background pattern within the first 24 hours. Sixty one percent of these infants survived without, or with a mild, disability.

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