Original article| Volume 24, ISSUE 7, P698-702, October 2002

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Combination of neonatal electroencephalography and ultrasonography: sensitive means of early diagnosis of periventricular leukomalacia


      This study was performed to assess the predictive value of ultrasonography and electroencephalography (EEG) in order to identify infants with periventricular leukomalacia (PVL) during the early neonatal period, especially non-cystic cases, and to clarify the combination of ultrasonographic and EEG findings that are the most useful. We studied 288 eligible infants, whose gestational ages ranged between 27 and 32 weeks. PVL was observed in 49 infants (26 cystic PVL and 23 non-cystic PVL). On ultrasonography, 31 infants with PVL were detected on the basis of definite periventricular echodensity (PVE). Thirty-seven infants had at least one of equivocal or definite PVE or cystic changes, but the other 12 did not have any of them. The sensitivity and specificity were 0.76 and 0.81, respectively. In EEG findings, acute stage abnormalities (ASA) of grade II or more were recognized in 31 infants with PVL. The sensitivity and specificity were 0.63 and 0.91, respectively. Equivocal or definite chronic stage abnormalities (CSA) were seen in 43 infants, the sensitivity and specificity being 0.88 and 0.84. The sensitivity of CSA was higher than that of ASA, and the specificity of ASA was higher than that of CSA. When these EEG findings were combined, 45 infants with PVL were detected. The sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value, and negative predictive value were 0.92, 0.77, 0.45, and 0.98, respectively. Moreover, ultrasonographic and EEG findings were combined, 46 out of the 49 infants with PVL were detected with a sensitivity of 0.94 and a specificity of 0.64. The results indicated that EEG may be suitable for detecting infants at risk for development of PVL on the basis of its high sensitivity, and ultrasonography may be useful for confirming the presence of PVL on the grounds of its high specificity. Appropriate use of these measurements will make an early diagnosis of infants with PVL possible, even in non-cystic cases.


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