Seizure Burden, EEG, and Outcome in Neonates With Acute Intracranial Infections: A Prospective Multicenter Cohort Study

Nehali Mehta, Renée A. Shellhaas, Charles E. McCulloch, Taeun Chang, Courtney J. Wusthoff, Nicholas S. Abend, Monica E. Lemmon, Catherine J. Chu, Shavonne L. Massey, Linda S. Franck, Cameron Thomas, Janet S. Soul, Elizabeth Rogers, Adam Numis, Hannah C. Glass

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Background: Limited data exist regarding seizure burden, electroencephalogram (EEG) background, and associated outcomes in neonates with acute intracranial infections. Methods: This secondary analysis was from a prospective, multicenter study of neonates enrolled in the Neonatal Seizure Registry with seizures due to intracranial infection. Sites used continuous EEG monitoring per American Clinical Neurophysiology Society guidelines. High seizure burden was defined a priori as seven or more EEG-confirmed seizures. EEG background was categorized using standardized terminology. Primary outcome was neurodevelopment at 24-months corrected age using Warner Initial Developmental Evaluation of Adaptive and Functional Skills (WIDEA-FS). Secondary outcomes were postneonatal epilepsy and motor disability. Results: Twenty-seven of 303 neonates (8.9%) had seizures due to intracranial infection, including 16 (59.3%) bacterial, 5 (18.5%) viral, and 6 (22.2%) unknown. Twenty-three neonates (85%) had at least one subclinical seizure. Among 23 children with 24-month follow-up, the WIDEA-FS score was, on average, 23 points lower in children with high compared with low seizure burden (95% confidence interval, [−48.4, 2.1]; P = 0.07). After adjusting for gestational age, infection etiology, and presence of an additional potential acute seizure etiology, the effect size remained unchanged (β = −23.8, P = 0.09). EEG background was not significantly associated with WIDEA-FS score. All children with postneonatal epilepsy (n = 4) and motor disability (n = 5) had high seizure burden, although associations were not significant. Conclusion: High seizure burden may be associated with worse neurodevelopment in neonates with intracranial infection and seizures. EEG monitoring can provide useful management and prognostic information in this population.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)54-61
Number of pages8
JournalPediatric Neurology
StatePublished - Dec 2022


  • Central nervous system
  • Encephalitis
  • Epilepsy
  • Meningitis
  • Neonates
  • Neurocritical care
  • Seizures


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