Seizure Control in Neonates Undergoing Screening vs Confirmatory EEG Monitoring

Neurology. 2021 Aug 10;97(6):e587-e596. doi: 10.1212/WNL.0000000000012293. Epub 2021 Jun 2.


Objective: To determine whether screening continuous EEG monitoring (cEEG) is associated with greater odds of treatment success for neonatal seizures.

Methods: We included term neonates with acute symptomatic seizures enrolled in the Neonatal Seizure Registry (NSR), a prospective, multicenter cohort of neonates with seizures. We compared 2 cEEG approaches: (1) screening cEEG, initiated for indications of encephalopathy or paralysis without suspected clinical seizures; and (2) confirmatory cEEG, initiated for the indication of clinical events suspicious for seizures, either alone or in addition to other indications. The primary outcome was successful response to initial seizure treatment, defined as seizures resolved without recurrence within 30 minutes after initial loading dose of antiseizure medicine. Multivariable logistic regression analyses assessed the association between cEEG approach and successful seizure treatment.

Results: Among 514 neonates included, 161 (31%) had screening cEEG and 353 (69%) had confirmatory cEEG. Neonates with screening cEEG had a higher proportion of successful initial seizure treatment than neonates with confirmatory cEEG (39% vs 18%; p < 0.0001). After adjusting for covariates, there remained a greater odds ratio (OR) for successful initial seizure treatment in the screening vs confirmatory cEEG groups (adjusted OR 2.44, 95% confidence interval 1.45-4.11, p = 0.0008).

Conclusions: These findings provide evidence from a large, contemporary cohort of neonates that a screening cEEG approach may improve odds of successful treatment of acute seizures.

Classification of evidence: This study provides Class III evidence that for neonates a screening cEEG approach, compared to a confirmatory EEG approach, increases the probability of successful treatment of acute seizures.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Anticonvulsants / administration & dosage*
  • Cohort Studies
  • Electroencephalography* / methods
  • Electroencephalography* / standards
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infant, Newborn, Diseases
  • Male
  • Neurophysiological Monitoring* / methods
  • Neurophysiological Monitoring* / standards
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care*
  • Registries*
  • Seizures / diagnosis*
  • Seizures / drug therapy*


  • Anticonvulsants