What is the role of postconceptional age and topography in the visual analysis of neonatal electroencephalogram (EEG)?

Updated: Aug 20, 2019
  • Author: Samuel Koszer, MD; Chief Editor: Selim R Benbadis, MD  more...
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An accurate estimate of postconceptional age is required because features in the EEG vary with the age of the newborn. Postconceptional age is defined as gestational age (in weeks) plus the number of weeks since birth. Gestational age is the number of weeks/months the child was in the womb. Legal age is the age of the child since birth. Prematurity (PT) is defined as birth at a gestational age of less than 38 weeks; full term (FT) is defined as birth at a gestational age of 38-42 weeks.

As in the adult, a description of skull and scalp topography is necessary. Scalp swelling and other forms of trauma can increase interelectrode resistance and attenuate the recording. Meningocele or subdural or epidural fluid collections can alter interelectrode resistance as well. Skull fractures provide a low-resistance pathway for electric fields and result in increased voltage. Distorted cranial vaults (common after birth trauma) also alter the topography of the EEG.

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