Automated spectral EEG analyses of premature infants during the first three days of life correlated with developmental outcomes at 24 months

Neonatology. 2013;103(3):205-12. doi: 10.1159/000345923. Epub 2013 Jan 12.


Background: Spectral EEG analysis using automated quantification of total absolute band power (tABP) for long-term brain monitoring is reliable. We hypothesised that tABP during the first critical days of life could be a useful tool for predicting later developmental outcomes.

Objective: To determine whether measuring EEG background activity in premature infants with automated tABP quantification during the first 3 days of life correlated with their developmental outcomes at 24 months.

Methods: Preterm infants (group 1, gestational age, GA 24-28 weeks and group 2, GA 28-31 weeks) were continuously monitored by EEG for 3 days after birth. Their developmental outcomes were assessed using the Bayley-II and Peabody-2 developmental tests at 24 months. Their respective indices were calculated. Normal (index ≥85) and abnormal (index <85) outcomes were correlated with the tABP.

Results: In group 1, the tABP was significantly lower in the abnormal infants than in the normal infants. The specificity and negative predictive value were also high for all of the tests that were applied in this group. In group 2, there was no correlation between the tABP and developmental outcome.

Conclusion: This study found that extremely premature infants with poor developmental outcomes had significantly lower tABP values in their first days of life compared to infants from the same group with normal outcomes. This method may be useful in predicting later outcomes in extremely premature infants and has the advantage of being automated.

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Algorithms
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Automation
  • Brain / growth & development*
  • Brain Waves*
  • Child Development*
  • Child, Preschool
  • Consciousness Monitors
  • Electroencephalography* / instrumentation
  • Female
  • Gestational Age
  • Humans
  • Infant, Extremely Premature
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infant, Premature*
  • Male
  • Monitoring, Physiologic / instrumentation
  • Monitoring, Physiologic / methods*
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Prognosis
  • Psychomotor Performance