Neurophysiological recordings improve the accuracy of the evaluation of the outcome in perinatal hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy

Eur J Paediatr Neurol. 2022 Jan:36:51-56. doi: 10.1016/j.ejpn.2021.11.010. Epub 2021 Dec 3.


Objectives: Our objective was to evaluate the potential additional value of electroencephalogram (EEG) and evoked potentials in neonates with hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy to predict their disability at 1 and 2 years old.

Methods: 30 full-term infants after perinatal asphyxia who underwent therapeutic hypothermia were evaluated at 1 year and 2 years for disability using International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health classification. Scores for EEG, sensory evoked potentials and brainstem auditory evoked potentials were evaluated after withdrawal of therapeutic hypothermia that lasted 72 h. A regression approach was investigated to build models allowing to distinguish neonates according to their disability at 1 and 2 years. Two models were built, the first by considering the clinical data and EEG before and after therapeutic hypothermia and the second by incorporating evoked potentials recording.

Results: Adding EEG and evoked potentials data after rewarming improved dramatically the accuracy of the model considering outcome at 1 and 2 years.

Interpretation: We propose to record systematically EEG and evoked potentials following rewarming to predict the outcome of neonates with hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy. Combination of altered evoked potentials with no improvement of EEG after rewarming appeared to be a robust criterion for a poor outcome.

Keywords: Evoked potentials; Hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy; Neonatal EEG; Perinatal asphyxia.

MeSH terms

  • Asphyxia Neonatorum* / complications
  • Asphyxia Neonatorum* / therapy
  • Child, Preschool
  • Electroencephalography
  • Evoked Potentials, Auditory, Brain Stem
  • Humans
  • Hypothermia, Induced*
  • Hypoxia-Ischemia, Brain* / therapy
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn