Amplitude-integrated EEG for detection of neonatal seizures: A systematic review

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

62 Citations (Scopus)


© 2015 British Epilepsy Association. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. Purpose: Amplitude-integrated electroencephalogram (aEEG) is being used increasingly for monitoring seizures in neonatal units. Its accuracy, compared with "the gold-standard" conventional elecroence- phalogram (cEEG) is still not well established. We aimed to conduct a systematic review to evaluate the diagnostic accuracy of aEEG when compared with cEEG, for detection of neonatal seizures. Method: A systematic review was conducted using the Cochrane methodology. EMBASE, CINAHL and PubMed databases were searched in September 2014. Studies comparing simultaneous recordings of cEEG and aEEG for detection of seizures in neonatal population were included. QUADAS 2 tool was used to examine "risk of bias" and "applicability". Results: Ten studies (patient sample 433) were included. Risk of bias was high in five studies, unclear in one and low in four. For the detection of individual seizures, when "aEEG with raw trace" was used, median sensitivity was 76% (range: 71-85), and specificity 85% (range: 39-96). When "aEEG without raw trace" was used, median sensitivity was 39% (range: 25-80) and specificity 95% (range: 50-100). Detailed meta-analysis could not be done because of significant clinical/methodological heterogeneity. Seizure detection was better when interpreted by experienced clinicians. Seizures with low amplitude/ brief duration and those occurring away from aEEG leads were less likely to be detected. Conclusion: Studies included in the systematic review showed aEEG to have relatively low and variable sensitivity and specificity. Based on the available evidence, aEEG cannot be recommended as the mainstay for diagnosis and management of neonatal seizures. There is an urgent need of well-designed studies to address this issue definitively.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)90-98
Publication statusPublished - 2015


Dive into the research topics of 'Amplitude-integrated EEG for detection of neonatal seizures: A systematic review'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this