Amplitude-integrated electroencephalography coupled with an early neurologic examination enhances prediction of term infants at risk for persistent encephalopathy

Lina F. Shalak, Abbot R. Laptook, Sithembiso C. Velaphi, Jeffrey M. Perlman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

204 Scopus citations


Objectives. The objectives of this study were to determine, first, whether an early neurologic examination could predict a persistent abnormal neonatal neurologic state comparable to the amplitude-integrated electroencephalography (a-EEG) and, second, whether a combination of the 2 methods would further enhance early identification of high-risk infants. Methods. Fifty term infants were enrolled prospectively when they had evidence of intrapartum distress, Apgar score ≤5 at 5 minutes, or cord arterial pH ≤7.00 and were admitted to intensive care. Each enrolled infant underwent an early neurologic examination using a modified Sarnat staging system (stages 2 and 3 were regarded as abnormal) and a blinded simultaneous a-EEG measurement. Predictive values were calculated for a short-term abnormal outcome defined as persistent moderate to severe encephalopathy beyond 5 days. Results. An abnormal short-term outcome was present in 14 (28%) of 50 infants. The neurologic examination was performed at 5 ± 3 hours after delivery. A short-term abnormal outcome occurred in 9 (53%) of 17 infants with initial stage 2 and in both infants with initial stage 3 encephalopathy. In addition, 13 infants manifested features of both stage 1s and 2 and post hoc were classified (S1-2). Three of the latter infants (23%) developed an abnormal short-term outcome. The a-EEG was abnormal in 15 (30%) infants, 11 (73%) of whom developed an abnormal outcome. An abnormal a-EEG was more specific (89% vs 78%), had a greater positive predictive value (73% vs 58%), and had similar sensitivity (79% vs 78%) and negative predictive value (90% vs 91%) when compared with an abnormal early neurologic examination. A combination of abnormalities had the highest specificity (94%) and positive predictive value (85%). Conclusion. The combination of the a-EEG and the neurologic examination shortly after birth enhances the ability to identify high-risk infants and limits the number of infants who would be falsely identified compared with either evaluation alone.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)351-357
Number of pages7
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2003


  • Amplitude-integrated electroencephalography
  • Hypoxiaischemia
  • Neuroprotective therapies

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


Dive into the research topics of 'Amplitude-integrated electroencephalography coupled with an early neurologic examination enhances prediction of term infants at risk for persistent encephalopathy'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this