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Pediatrics. 2006 Jul;118(1):41-6.

Prediction of seizures in asphyxiated neonates: correlation with continuous video-electroencephalographic monitoring.

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  • 1Department of Pediatrics and Child Health, University College Cork, Unified Maternity Services, Cork, Ireland.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

After perinatal asphyxia, predicting which infants will develop significant hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy and neonatal seizures remains a difficult task. High-risk markers (Apgar score, acidosis, nucleated red blood cells, and resuscitation) have been used to predict neonatal seizures with varying success. The "3 strikes" of Apgar score of <5 at 5 minutes, pH <7.00, and need for intubation have been cited as having a positive predictive value of 80%. We examined whether the predictive values of these markers would be increased if early continuous electroencephalographic monitoring allowed us to accurately identify all neonatal seizures and to grade the encephalopathy.

METHOD:

We recruited term infants with perinatal asphyxia. Continuous video electroencephalography was commenced soon after birth and continued for 24 to 72 hours. The abilities of high-risk markers to predict electroencephalographic seizures, background electroencephalographic activity, and Sarnat grade were examined.

RESULTS:

Forty-nine infants were suitable for analysis. Electrographic seizures occurred in 11 of the 49 infants. Encephalopathy was scored by using Sarnat grade (6, severe; 18, moderate; 25, mild) and electroencephalographic findings (4 inactive, 4 major abnormalities, 16 moderate abnormalities, and 25 normal/mildly abnormal). Apgar score of <5 at 5 minutes, pH <7.0, and the need for intubation had positive predictive values for neonatal seizures of 18%, 16%, and 21%, respectively. Combining these markers gave a positive predictive value of 25% and a negative predictive value of 77%. Substituting base deficit or lactate for pH in the 3-strikes model did not improve its predictive value. Apgar score of <5 at 5 minutes, nucleated red blood cells, and a base deficit less than -15 mEq/L showed some association with Sarnat grade. Only 5-minute Apgar score was significantly associated with both Sarnat grade and electroencephalographic grade.

CONCLUSION:

After perinatal asphyxia, neither the condition at birth nor the degree of metabolic acidosis reliably predict neonatal seizures.

PMID:
16818547
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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