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EEG for the assessment of neurological function in newborn infants immediately after birth


Objective To assess the neurological function of newborn infants in the first minutes after birth using EEG.

Design and patients We obtained electroencephalography (EEG) recordings in term infants following elective caesarean section. After delivery, disposable EEG electrodes were attached to the infants’ scalp over the frontal and central regions bilaterally and EEG was recorded for 10 min. Both visual and quantitative measures were used to analyse the EEGs.

Setting The operative delivery theatre of Cork University Maternity Hospital, Ireland.

Results Forty-nine infants had EEG recordings over the frontal and central regions. The median (IQR) age at time of initial EEG recording was 3.0 (2.5–3.8) min. While movement artefact contaminated parts of many recordings, good-quality EEG, with mixed-frequency activity with a range of 25–50 μV, was observed in all infants. The majority of EEG spectral power was within the delta band: the median (IQR) relative delta power was 87.8% (83.7%–90%). Almost all (95%) spectral power was below a median (IQR) of 7.56 Hz (6.17–9.76 Hz).

Conclusions EEG recording is very feasible in the immediate newborn period. This study provides valuable objective information about neurological function during this transitional period.

  • neo
  • neurology
  • eeg
  • newborn

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