Current Neurology and Neuroscience Reports

, Volume 12, Issue 2, pp 145–152 | Cite as

Neurodiagnostic Techniques in Neonatal Critical Care

Pediatric Neurology (R Packer, Section Editor)


This article reviews recent advances in the neurodiagnostic tools available to clinicians practicing in neonatal critical care. The advent of induced mild hypothermia for acute neonatal hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy in 2005 has been responsible for renewed urgency in the development of precise and reliable neonatal neurodiagnostic techniques. Traditional evaluations of bedside head ultrasounds, head computed tomography scans, and routine electroencephalograms (EEGs) have been upgraded in most tertiary pediatric centers to incorporate protocols for MRI, continuous EEG monitoring with remote bedside access, amplitude-integrated EEG, and near-infrared spectroscopy. Meanwhile, recent studies supporting the association between placental pathology and neonatal brain injury highlight the need for closer examination of the placenta in the neurodiagnostic evaluation of the acutely ill newborn. As the pursuit of more effective neuroprotection moves into the “hypothermia plus” era, the identification, evaluation, and treatment of the neurologically affected newborn in the neonatal intensive care unit has increasing significance.


Neonatal neurology Critical care Neurodiagnostic techniques EEG NIRS MRI Placenta 



No potential conflicts of interest relevant to this article were reported.


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Division, Fetal MedicineChildren’s National Medical CenterWashingtonUSA
  2. 2.Division, Neurophysiology and EpilepsyChildren’s National Medical CenterWashingtonUSA

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