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Evaluation of somatosensory cortical processing in extremely preterm infants at term with MEG and EEG

Evaluation of somatosensory cortical processing in extremely preterm infants at term with MEG and EEG

Authors: 
Päivi Nevalainen, Petri Rahkonen, Elina Pihko, Aulikki Lano, Sampsa Vanhatalo, Sture Andersson, Taina Autti, Leena Valanne, Marjo Metsäranta, Leena Lauronen
Year: 
2014
Journal: 
Clinical Neurophysiology
Abstract: 


Objective

Prior studies on extremely preterm infants have reported long-term prognostic value of absent secondary somatosensory cortex (SII) responses in magnetoencephalography (MEG) at term. The present work i) further examines the potential added value of SII responses in neonatal neurological evaluation of preterm infants, and ii) tests whether SII responses are detectable in routine neonatal electroencephalogram complemented with median nerve stimulation (EEG-SEP).

Methods

Altogether 29 infants born <28 gestational weeks underwent MEG, MRI, and neonatal neurological examination at term age, and Hempel neurological examination at 2-years corrected age. Term-age EEG-SEP was available for seven infants.

Results

While in neonatal neurological examination severely abnormal finding predicted unfavorable outcome in 2/2 infants, outcome was unfavorable also in 3/9 (33%) moderately abnormal and in 5/18 (28%) mildly abnormal/normal infants. Of these eight infants four had unilaterally absent SII responses in MEG, compared with only two of the 24 infants with favorable outcome. Furthermore, SII responses (when present in MEG) were also usually detectable in EEG-SEP.

Conclusions

Complementing clinical EEG recording with SEP holds promise for valuable extension of neonatal neurophysiological assessment.

Significance

Multimodal study of EEG and sensory evoked responses is informative, safe, and cheap, and it can be readily performed at bedside.

Highlights

•Secondary somatosensory cortex (SII) responses complement neonatal neurological evaluation in predicting neurodevelopmental outcome in extremely preterm infants.

•SII responses can be measured with MEG as well as with the routinely available bedside EEG-SEP recordings.

•Use of sensory responses as a part of routine EEG studies holds promise to significantly expand early neurophysiological evaluation of neonates after adversities.

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