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The prognostic value of amplitude integrated EEG in neonatal sepsis and/or meningitis

H J ter Horst, M van Olffen, H J Remmelts, H de Vries, A F Bos
Acta Paediatrica 2010, 99 (2): 194-200

AIM: To investigate the longitudinal course and prognostic value of amplitude integrated EEG (aEEG) in infants with neonatal sepsis or meningitis.

METHODS: Amplitude integrated EEG recordings of 22 infants with sepsis/meningitis were retrospectively evaluated. Mean gestational age was 38 weeks (range: 34-42 weeks). Thirteen infants had meningitis. Survivors were seen for neurological follow-up. Four infants died, two were severely abnormal at 24 months. Amplitude integrated EEG background pattern, sleep wake cycling (SWC) and electrographic seizure activity (EA) were appraised.

RESULTS: All infants with continuous low voltage or flat trace on aEEG (n = 4) had an adverse outcome. Low voltage aEEGs (n = 9) had a positive LR (LR+) for an adverse outcome of 5.3 (95% CI: 1.9-14.8) at 6 h and 8.3 (95% CI: 1.3-55) at 24 h after admission. EA was more frequent in infants with adverse outcome (p < 0.01) and had a LR+ for adverse outcome of 10.6 (95% CI: 1.5-76). SWC appeared more frequent in infants with good outcome (p < 0.05).

CONCLUSION: Low voltage background pattern, SWC and EA on aEEG are helpful to predict neurological outcome in infants with neonatal sepsis or meningitis.

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