The cerebral function monitor (CFM), a simplified one-channel EEG monitor, was evaluated in predicting outcome after severe perinatal asphyxia in 38 term infants. Survivors were followed until 1.5-2.5 years of age. All those 17 infants who survived without major neurological handicap showed continuous activity on the CFM trace during the first and/or second day of life. Twenty of the 21 infants who either died or developed severe neurological damage had burst suppression or paroxysmal activity on the first or second day of life. Thus cerebral function monitoring can be a valuable tool in predicting prognosis for infants with severe perinatal asphyxia.