Hypothermia for neonatal hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy: May an early amplitude-integrated EEG improve the selection of candidates for cooling

Luca Filippi, Serena Catarzi, Elena Gozzini, Patrizio Fiorini, Melania Falchi, Tiziana Pisano, Giancarlo La Marca, Gianpaolo Donzelli, Renzo Guerrini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Objective: To report our experience in the selection of newborns candidate to therapeutic hypothermia. Methods: Retrospective study involving 47 newborns suffering from perinatal asphyxia from January 2008 to September 2011. Results: Thirty-five of 47 newborns admitted to our hospital fulfilled metabolic and neurological criteria for recruitment and were cooled. aEEG was carried out in 26 of them and resulted always abnormal. In three of the 12 newborns with only metabolic criteria, aEEG was moderately abnormal. They were cooled and their outcome (evaluated by General Movements and Griffiths Mental Development Scales for children aged 02 years) is good. Three additional newborns who only met the metabolic criterion reached our hospital after the therapeutic window for hypothermia and exhibited seizures; their outcome is poor. Conclusions: In our experience, the inclusion of aEEG in the entry criteria would not have precluded newborns with neurological criteria from cooling. On the contrary, without an early aEEG, we would have excluded from hypothermia infants with moderate hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy without precocious neurological signs who exhibited only the metabolic criterion, but with abnormal aEEG. If further studies will confirm that early aEEG might identify newborns suitable for cooling even in the absence of clinical signs, a revision of the entry criteria should be considered.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2171-2176
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Maternal-Fetal and Neonatal Medicine
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2012



  • Asphyxia
  • Hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy
  • Neuroprotection
  • Newborn

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology

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