Evaluation of SEPs in asphyxiated newborns using a 4-electrode aEEG brain monitoring set-up

Päivi Nevalainen, Viviana Marchi, Marjo Metsäranta, Tuula Lönnqvist, Sampsa Vanhatalo, Leena Lauronen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: To evaluate the reliability of recording cortical somatosensory evoked potentials (SEPs) in asphyxiated newborns using the 4-electrode setup applied in routine long-term amplitude-integrated EEG (aEEG) brain monitoring and to assess the number of averages needed for reliably detecting the cortical responses. Methods: We evaluated median nerve SEPs in 50 asphyxiated full-term newborns. The SEP interpretation (present or absent) from the original recordings with 21-electrodes and approximately 600 trials served as the reference. This was compared to SEP classification (absent, present, or unreliable) based on a reduced (300 or 150) number of averages, and to classification based on only four electrodes (F3, P3, F4, P4). Results: Compared to the original classification, cortical SEPs were uniformly interpreted as present or absent in all 50 newborns with the 4-electrode setup and 600 averages. Reducing number of averages to 300 still resulted in correct SEP interpretation in 49/50 newborns with 21-electrode setup, and 46/50 newborns with 4-electrode setup. Conclusions: Evaluation of early cortical neonatal SEPs is reliable from the 4-electrode setup commonly used in aEEG monitoring. SEP is discernible in most newborns with 300 averages. Significance: Adding SEP into routine aEEG monitoring offers an additional tool for early neonatal neurophysiological evaluation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)122-126
Number of pages5
JournalClinical Neurophysiology Practice
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2018


  • Amplitude-integrated electroencephalography (aEEG)
  • Asphyxia
  • Brain monitoring
  • Electroencephalography (EEG)
  • Newborn
  • Somatosensory evoked potentials (SEPs)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Physiology (medical)


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