Background: The amplitude-integrated EEG (aEEG) is feasible for monitoring cerebral activity in preterm infants. However, quantitative data on normal patterns in these infants are limited. Objective: To study maturational aEEG changes in a cohort of stable preterm infants by automated quantification. Methods: In a cohort of stable preterm infants with gestational age (GA) <32 weeks and normal neurological follow-up at 1 year, weekly 4 h EEG recordings were performed. aEEG traces were obtained from channel C-3-C-4. The upper margin amplitude (UMA), lower margin amplitude (LMA) and bandwidth (BW) were quantitatively calculated using an expert software system. In addition, the relative duration of discontinuous background pattern (discontinuous background defined as activity with LMA <5 mu V, expressed as DC-%) was calculated. Results: 79 aEEG recordings (4-6 recordings/infant) were obtained in 18 infants. Analysis of the first week recordings demonstrated a strong positive correlation between GA and LMA, while DC-% decreased significantly. Longitudinally, all infants showed increase of LMA. Multivariate analysis showed that GA and postnatal age (PA) both contributed independently and equally to LMA and DC-%. We found a strong correlation between postmenstrual age (GA + PA) and LMA and DC-%, respectively. Conclusion: To our knowledge, this is the first study where aEEG development was studied by automated quantification of aEEG characteristics in a cohort of stable preterm infants with a normal neurological development at 1 year of age. LMA and DC-% are simple quantitative measures of neurophysiologic development and may be used to evaluate neurodevelopment in infants.
- Amplitude-integrated electroencephalography
- Preterm infants, amplitude-integrated EEG
- Brain development