Ability of early neurological assessment and continuous EEG to predict long term neurodevelopmental outcome at 5 years in infants following hypoxic-ischaemic encephalopathy

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O'Connor, Catherine M.
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University College Cork
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Hypoxic-ischaemic encephalopathy (HIE) symptoms evolve during the first days of life and their monitoring is critical for treatment decisions and long-term outcome predictions. This thesis aims to report the five-year outcome of a HIE cohort born in the pre-therapeutic hypothermia era and to evaluate the predictive value of (a) neonatal neurological and EEG markers and (b) development in the first 24 months, for outcome. Methods: Participants were recruited at age five from two birth cohorts; HIE and Comparison. Repeated neonatal neurological assessments using the Amiel-TisonNeurological-Assessment-at-Term, continuous video EEG monitoring in the first 72 hours, and Sarnat grading at 24 hours were recorded. EEG severity grades were assigned at 6, 12 and 24 hours. Development was assessed in the HIE cohort at 6, 12 and 24 months using the Griffiths Mental Development (0-2) Revised Scales. At age five, intellectual (WPPSI-IIIUK scale), neuropsychological (NEPSY-II scales), neurological and ophthalmic testing was completed. Results: 5-year outcomes were available for 81.5% (n=53) of HIE and 71.4% (n=30) of Comparison cohorts. In HIE, 47.2% (27% mild, 47% moderate, 83% severe Sarnat), had non-intact outcome vs. 3.3% of the Comparison cohort. Non-intact outcome rates by 6-hour EEG-grade were: grade0=3%, grade1=25%, grade2=54%, grade3/4=79%. In HIE, processing speed (p=0.01) and verbal short-term memory (p=0.005) were below test norms. No significant differences were found in IQ, NEPSY-II or ocular biometry scores between children following mild and moderate HIE. Median IQ scores for mild (99(94-112),p=grade 2) at 24hours had superior positive predictive value (74%; AUROC(95%CI)=0.70(0.55-0.85) for non-intact 5-year outcome than abnormal EEG at 6 hours (68%; AUROC(95%CI)=0.71(0.56-0.87). Within-child development scores were inconsistent across the first 24 months. Although all children with intact 24-month Griffiths quotient (n=30) had intact 5-year IQ, 8/30 had non-intact overall outcome. Conclusion: Predictive value of neonatal neurological assessments and an EEG grading system for outcome was confirmed. Intact early childhood outcomes post-HIE may mask subtle adverse neuropsychological sequelae into the school years. This thesis supports emerging evidence that mild-grade HIE is not a benign condition and its inclusion in studies of neuroprotective treatments for HIE is warranted.
Sarnat grade , Hypoxic-ischaemic encephalopathy , Neonatal encephalopathy , Neonatal EEG , Neurodevelopment , Childhood outcome , Neuropsychology
O'Connor, C. M. 2018. Ability of early neurological assessment and continuous EEG to predict long term neurodevelopmental outcome at 5 years in infants following hypoxic-ischaemic encephalopathy. PhD Thesis, University College Cork.