Background The correlation between systemic blood pressure (BP) and amplitude integrated electroencephalography (aEEG) in full term neonates with hypoxic ischaemic encephalopathy (HIE) is clinically complex, affecting therapy and prognosis.
Method Term infants with HIE and < 48 hours of age were identified from a prospectively kept database. Mean (MAP), systolic and diastolic blood pressure was recorded over a four hour period. aEEG patterns and corresponding output (in µV) of crosshead, right and left leads over the same period were recorded and analysed. The cohort was analysed according to a range of variables including treatment or non-treatment of hypotension and degree of encephalopathy.
Results Twenty-nine episodes of hypotension experienced by twenty-one full term neonates with HIE were recorded. In the cohort, MAP was correlated with aEEG changes two and three hours after hypotension at with a correlation coefficient (r) of 0.454 and 0.477. In the non-treated group, there was a significant correlation between MAP and all leads across the time period with r ranging from 0.498 to 0.768. Neonates with HIE stage III had a significantly stronger correlation between BP and aEEG over the time period compared to those with HIE stage II.
Conclusions There is a correlation between blood pressure and aEEG in neonates with HIE. This is especially evident in non-treated and the most encephalopathic neonates. These results may guide clinical practice in NICUs.