What are the characteristic findings of the paroxysmal or burst suppression neonatal EEG pattern?

Updated: Oct 03, 2019
  • Author: Rosalia C Silvestri-Hobson, MD; Chief Editor: Selim R Benbadis, MD  more...
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The paroxysmal or burst suppression EEG pattern is characterized by intervals of inactive background activity (< 10–15 mV) that alternate with synchronous or asynchronous activity bursts. These include primarily high-voltage, irregular slow waves with or without sharp components (see image below). This pattern, which carries a highly unfavorable prognosis, must be clearly distinguished from a full-term newborn's tracé alternant and a preterm infant's tracé discontinue (TD), both of which are normal patterns. Serial recordings are essential to reach a reliable prognosis. Certain conditions (eg, Aicardi syndrome or uncommon dysgenetic conditions that involve the corpus callosum) rarely present as hemihypsarrhythmia.

Paroxysmal or burst suppression EEG. Notice promin Paroxysmal or burst suppression EEG. Notice prominent bursts of paroxysmal activity interspersed with an inactive background activity.

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