Prognostic value of the electroencephalogram in term and preterm infants following neonatal seizures

Electroencephalogr Clin Neurophysiol. 1985 Mar;60(3):183-96. doi: 10.1016/0013-4694(85)90030-6.


There is controversy in the literature regarding the prognostic value of the EEG following neonatal seizures. This report reviews the results of a prospective study comparing EEG findings and outcome in 74 term and preterm infants following neonatal seizures. EEGs were evaluated for both background rhythms and epileptiform activity. Outcome was evaluated at an average age of 33 months. Background rhythms were highly correlated with outcome. Low voltage, electrocerebral inactivity and burst suppression EEGs were associated with poor outcomes while normal EEGs were associated with favorable outcomes. Slow, maturationally delayed and asymmetrical EEGs were associated with variable outcomes. The presence of epileptiform activity on the EEG was correlated with adverse outcomes but was not as highly significant as background rhythms. Electroencephalographic seizures, whether associated with clinical manifestations or not, were highly correlated with poor outcomes. The significance of these EEG findings was similar in both term and preterm infants. The study demonstrates that the EEG is predictive of outcome following neonatal seizures.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Electroencephalography* / methods
  • Gestational Age
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infant, Premature*
  • Prognosis
  • Prospective Studies
  • Seizures / diagnosis*