Amplitude-integrated electroencephalography in neonates

Pediatr Neurol. 2009 Nov;41(5):315-26. doi: 10.1016/j.pediatrneurol.2009.05.002.


Conventional electroencephalography (EEG) has been used for decades in the neonatal intensive care unit for formulating neurologic prognoses, demonstrating brain functional state and degree of maturation, revealing cerebral lesions, and identifying the presence and number of electrographic seizures. However, both the immediate availability of conventional EEG and the expertise with which it is interpreted are variable. Amplitude-integrated EEG provides simplified monitoring of cerebral function, and is rapidly gaining popularity among neonatologists, with growing use in bedside decision making and inclusion criteria for randomized clinical studies. Nonetheless, child neurologists and neurophysiologists remain cautious about relying solely on this tool and prefer interpreting conventional EEG. The present review examines the technical aspects of generating, recording, and interpreting amplitude-integrated EEG and contrasts this approach with conventional EEG. Finally, several proposed amplitude-integrated EEG classification schemes are reviewed. A clear understanding of this emerging technology of measuring brain health in the premature or sick neonate is critical in modern care of the newborn infant.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Brain / physiology*
  • Brain / physiopathology
  • Electroencephalography / instrumentation
  • Electroencephalography / methods*
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn / physiology*
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic
  • Seizures / diagnosis
  • Seizures / physiopathology
  • Sleep / physiology
  • Terminology as Topic
  • Wakefulness / physiology