Progressive posthemorrhagic hydrocephalus leads to changes of amplitude-integrated EEG activity in preterm infants

Childs Nerv Syst. 2004 Jan;20(1):41-5. doi: 10.1007/s00381-003-0809-y. Epub 2003 Oct 11.


Aim: Intraventricular hemorrhage (IVH) is the most common cause of brain lesions in preterm infants. Among infants with IVH about 35% develop posthemorrhagic hydrocephalus (PPH) which may lead to secondary injury. Therapeutic interventions to reduce the increased intracranial pressure are invasive and carry a high risk of complications. Amplitude-integrated EEG (aEEG) allows continuous neurophysiological surveillance and may help in defining the optimal timing for intervention in infants with progressive PHH. In this report we show, for the first time, a change in aEEG activity in two preterm infants with PHH.

Methods: Cerebral activity was continuously monitored by aEEG provided by the Cerebral Function Monitor (Lectromed, UK) in two preterm infants with PPH.

Results: With increasing ventricular width, aEEG showed an increased discontinuity without distinguishable sleep-wake cycling in both infants. One infant showed an abrupt onset of a nearly isoelectric pattern without any change in clinical condition. Clinical signs of increased intracranial pressure developed 6-12 h later in both children. In one patient, aEEG activity returned to normal after successful shunting and reduction of intracranial pressure.

Conclusion: Continuous neurophysiological monitoring by aEEG may be of value in the diagnostic and therapeutic management of preterm infants with progressive PHH.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Cerebral Hemorrhage / complications*
  • Electroencephalography* / classification
  • Electroencephalography* / methods
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hydrocephalus / etiology
  • Hydrocephalus / physiopathology*
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infant, Premature*
  • Male
  • Monitoring, Physiologic / methods
  • Ultrasonography