Aim: Progressive posthaemorrhagic ventricular dilatation (PHVD) may induce abnormal amplitude-integrated electroencephalographic (aEEG) activity prior to clinical deterioration or significant cerebral ultrasound changes. These abnormalities might be ameliorated with cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) drainage. The aims of this study were to investigate the occurrence of aEEG-abnormalities with progressive PHVD in relation to clinical and cerebral ultrasound changes and to evaluate whether CSF drainage results in aEEG improvement.
Methods: aEEG and cerebral ultrasound scans were performed in 12 infants with PHVD, before and after CSF drainage, until normalization of aEEG occurred.
Results: aEEG was abnormal with progressive PHVD in all patients. Concurrently, 60% of the patients were clinically stable without deterioration in ultrasonographic cerebral abnormalities. Post drainage, continuous pattern was restored in all but one patient, whereas the frequency of discontinuous pattern decreased in nine patients and burst-suppression pattern decreased in all but one patient. Low-voltage pattern was only observed in one patient who suffered severe grade IV IVH and died one week after EVD placement. Sleep-wake cycling matured in 75%.
Conclusion: These findings demonstrate the impact of CSF drainage on compromised aEEG-activity associated with PHVD. aEEG changes indicative of impaired cerebral function were apparent before clinical deterioration or major ultrasound changes. These changes were reversible with CSF drainage. aEEG should therefore be used in addition to clinical observation and ultrasound when monitoring PHVD.