Background and aims Amplitude integrated electroencephalography (aEEG) is a tool for continuous brain function monitoring in NICU patients. The aEEG classification related to pathology and visually assessed by examiners is fully described. Nevertheless the quantitative analysis of these signal is still not well defined.
The aim was to check if a quantitative analysis of an aEEG can be a useful tool in early diagnosis of morbidities such as intraventricular haemorrhage (IVH), periventricular leukomalacia (PVL) and hemodynamically significant persistent ductus arteriosus (PDA).
Methods Very low birthweight newborns admitted to NICU in a first day of life were included. On 1st, 3rd and 10th day of life patients had been monitored with aEEG for 2 h. A 1 h of stable recording was analysed. The aEEG power was analysed in 3 ranges (below 5uV, between 5uV and 40uV and above 40 uV). The study group consisted of sick newborns with either IVH (III and IV grade), PVL or PDA (with surgical closure of PDA). The control group were children without these abnormalities. Groups were cross-matched according to gestational age. U Mann-Whitney test had been used.
Results There were 12 newborns in each: study and control group. There were 15 samples of an aEEG power from each patient. The aEEG power for children in study group was significantly lower on 1st day of live for a range above 40uV (p < 0,000000). On a 3rd day the aEEG power was significantly lower in a study group for range below 5uV (p < 0,000000) and higher for ranges between 5uV and 40uV and above 40uV (p < 0,000000). On a 10th day the power above 40uV was significantly lower in a study group (p = 0,000006).
Conclusion Quantitive analysis of an aEEG could be a useful method of identifying high risk neonates on a first and 10th day of live. Diminished power above 40uV reflects decreased CNS activity described as electrical bursts.