Neurodevelopmental outcomes in neonates with seizures: a numerical score of background encephalography to help prognosticate

J Child Neurol. 2010 Aug;25(8):961-8. doi: 10.1177/0883073809355825. Epub 2010 Mar 11.


There is a high incidence of mortality and neurodevelopmental sequelae in babies with neonatal seizures. The electroencephalography (EEG) background has been shown to be an excellent predictor of outcome by most studies, with a few suggesting limited value in prognostication. Previous studies suggest poor prognosis with severely abnormal backgrounds, but prediction was difficult with moderate abnormalities. The proposed numerical scoring system for the EEG background provides an objective method of evaluation with improved reproducibility, categorization, and prognostication. Our study showed that the numerical score of EEG background was a good predictor of outcome. Higher numerical scores reflecting greater abnormality of background EEG were associated with increasing incidence of mortality, neurodevelopmental impairment, cerebral palsy, vision and hearing impairment, and epilepsy. The numerical score also correlated with neuroimaging abnormalities. A numerical EEG score can help target interventional strategies for neonatal seizures.

MeSH terms

  • Cerebral Cortex / physiopathology*
  • Disability Evaluation
  • Electroencephalography / methods*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Prognosis
  • Seizures / diagnosis*
  • Seizures / mortality
  • Seizures / physiopathology*
  • Severity of Illness Index