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Review: Atlas of amplitude-integrated EEGs in the newborn - second edition


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Atlas of amplitude-integrated EEGs in the newborn – second edition

Lena Hellstrom-Westas, Linda S de Vries, Ingmar Rosén

Publishers: Informa Healthcare: UK: 2008,

Hardcover book with CD-ROM, 186 pages, approx price $174.00

ISBN: 978 1 84184 649 1

Neonatal cerebral function monitoring has become an integral part of the modern neonatal ICU in the last few decades whether for detection of seizures and brain injury, brain activity monitoring or as part of neurodevelopment disability prediction. There has been an exponential increase in the amount of publications regarding the various aspects of integrated amplitude EEG and it is difficult for the clinician to remain up to date.

Prof Inder states in the foreword: “the single most essential component of the successful use of bedside EEG devices is knowledge and accurate interpretation” and this is indeed what this atlas aims to provide. It provides the clinical tools for the interpretation of the various types of EEG and aEEG available in the NICU setting. It is indeed the only available atlas regarding the interpretation of amplitude integrated EEG in newborns.

The authors, neonatologists and neurophysiology specialists from Sweden and the Netherlands, are well known in the field of cerebral function monitoring and have written numerous articles on the topic of aEEG use and interpretation in neonatal medicine and are therefore well qualified to present this atlas.

The 187 pages of the atlas are divided into 8 chapters, progressing logically from methodology, normal EEG and aEEG characteristics and classification to the various neonatal neurological pathologies. The first 3 chapters discuss the methodology of changing an EEG into an aEEG, classification of aEEG characteristics, normal neurological maturation and the various pitfalls in aEEG/ EEG interpretation as well as the effect of various drugs on the aEEG. The ensuing chapters deal with the various neurological diseases and their aEEG appearance. Each chapter starts with a brief summary of the aEEG changes involved in the pathology (seizures, hypoxia-ischaemia, haemorrhagic and ischemic lesions in the full-term as well as the preterm infant, metabolic diseases, brain malformations and central nervous system infections). The rest of the chapter, and most of the book, is a multitude of aEEG and EEG examples presented as case studies. aEEG changes are described clearly and learning points are well highlighted. The case studies are supported by the enclosed CD-ROM where “live” examples of EEG and aEEG tracings are shown. Although the CD-ROM is not interactive, it is very helpful to see the EEG changes that accompany the aEEG changes.

The atlas uses numerous diagrams, ultrasound and MRI images and various EEG and aEEG tracings to explain the different aspects of interpretation and pattern recognition. Various aEEG and EEG abnormalities are easily identifiable but the atlas clearly depicts the pitfalls and misinterpretations that can be encountered. The normal maturational aEEG changes encountered in the premature infant’s aEEG are also represented in the atlas.

The book is compact and to the point, as a good atlas should be, with clear explanatory notes to identify a specific aEEG abnormality. It is aimed at any clinician (medical, nursing or student) needing to further their knowledge in this field of neonatal cerebral function monitoring. The layout is easy to follow and logical.

I would highly recommend this book for anyone working in a neonatal unit where an aEEG is used. It is an excellent teaching tool as well as a practical guide to identifying normal and abnormal aEEGs.

L Van Wyk

Neonatal consultant

Division Neonatology, Department Pediatrics and Child Health, Tygerberg Children’s Hospital, Cape Town, South Africa

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