Amplitude-integrated EEG in newborns with critical congenital heart disease predicts preoperative brain magnetic resonance imaging findings

Pediatr Neurol. 2015 Jun;52(6):599-605. doi: 10.1016/j.pediatrneurol.2015.02.026. Epub 2015 Mar 5.


Objective: The study aims are to evaluate cerebral background patterns using amplitude-integrated electroencephalography in newborns with critical congenital heart disease, determine if amplitude-integrated electroencephalography is predictive of preoperative brain injury, and assess the incidence of preoperative seizures. We hypothesize that amplitude-integrated electroencephalography will show abnormal background patterns in the early preoperative period in infants with congenital heart disease that have preoperative brain injury on magnetic resonance imaging.

Methods: Twenty-four newborns with congenital heart disease requiring surgery at younger than 30 days of age were prospectively enrolled within the first 3 days of age at a tertiary care pediatric hospital. Infants had amplitude-integrated electroencephalography for 24 hours beginning close to birth and preoperative brain magnetic resonance imaging. The amplitude-integrated electroencephalographies were read to determine if the background pattern was normal, mildly abnormal, or severely abnormal. The presence of seizures and sleep-wake cycling were noted. The preoperative brain magnetic resonance imaging scans were used for brain injury and brain atrophy assessment.

Results: Fifteen of 24 infants had abnormal amplitude-integrated electroencephalography at 0.71 (0-2) (mean [range]) days of age. In five infants, the background pattern was severely abnormal. (burst suppression and/or continuous low voltage). Of the 15 infants with abnormal amplitude-integrated electroencephalography, 9 (60%) had brain injury. One infant with brain injury had a seizure on amplitude-integrated electroencephalography. A severely abnormal background pattern on amplitude-integrated electroencephalography was associated with brain atrophy (P = 0.03) and absent sleep-wake cycling (P = 0.022).

Conclusion: Background cerebral activity is abnormal on amplitude-integrated electroencephalography following birth in newborns with congenital heart disease who have findings of brain injury and/or brain atrophy on preoperative brain magnetic resonance imaging.

Keywords: brain injury; congenital heart disease; electroencephalography; neuromonitoring; newborn; seizures.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Brain / pathology
  • Brain / physiopathology*
  • Brain Injuries / pathology
  • Brain Injuries / physiopathology*
  • Electroencephalography
  • Female
  • Heart Defects, Congenital / pathology
  • Heart Defects, Congenital / physiopathology*
  • Humans
  • Hypoxia-Ischemia, Brain / pathology*
  • Hypoxia-Ischemia, Brain / physiopathology
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Preoperative Care