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J Clin Neurophysiol. 2012 Oct;29(5):441-8. doi: 10.1097/WNP.0b013e31826bd90d.

Neonatal seizures and status epilepticus.

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Division of Neurology, The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, the Departments of Neurology and Pediatrics, The University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA, USA.


Neonatal seizures are common, often require EEG monitoring for diagnosis and management, may be associated with worse neurodevelopmental outcome, and can often be treated with existing anticonvulsants. A neonatal electrographic seizure is defined as a sudden, repetitive, evolving, and stereotyped event of abnormal electrographic pattern with amplitude of at least 2 μV and a minimum duration of 10 seconds. The diagnosis of neonatal seizures relies heavily on the neurophysiologist's interpretation of EEG. Consideration of specific criteria for the definition of a neonatal seizure, including seizure duration, location, morphology, evolution, semiology, and overall seizure burden, has utility for both the clinician and the researcher. The importance of EEG in the diagnosis and management of neonatal seizures, the electrographic characteristics of neonatal seizures, the impact of neonatal seizures on outcome, and tools to aid in the identification of neonatal seizures are reviewed.

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