CONTEXT:

Brain injury is common in preterm infants, and predictors of neurodevelopmental outcome are relevant.

OBJECTIVE:

To assess the prognostic test accuracy of the background activity of the EEG recorded as amplitude-integrated EEG (aEEG) or conventional EEG early in life in preterm infants for predicting neurodevelopmental outcome.

DATA SOURCES:

The Cochrane Library, PubMed, Embase, and the Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature.

STUDY SELECTION:

We included observational studies that had obtained an aEEG or EEG within 7 days of life in preterm infants and reported neurodevelopmental outcomes 1 to 10 years later.

DATA EXTRACTION:

Two reviewers independently performed data extraction with regard to participants, prognostic testing, and outcomes.

RESULTS:

Thirteen observational studies with a total of 1181 infants were included. A meta-analysis was performed based on 3 studies (267 infants). Any aEEG background abnormality was a predictor of abnormal outcome. For prediction of a developmental quotient <70 points, cerebral palsy, or death, the pooled sensitivity was 0.83 (95% confidence interval, 0.69–0.92) and specificity 0.83 (95% confidence interval, 0.77–0.87).

LIMITATIONS:

All studies were at high risk of bias. Heterogeneity was evident among the studies with regard to the investigated aEEG and EEG variables, neurodevelopmental outcomes, and cutoff values.

CONCLUSIONS:

aEEG or EEG recorded within the first 7 days of life in preterm infants may have potential as a predictor for later neurodevelopmental outcome. We need high-quality studies to confirm these findings. Meanwhile, the prognostic value of aEEG and EEG should be used only as a scientific tool.

You do not currently have access to this content.