Objective: Seizures are frequently observed in neurological conditions affecting newborns. Since autonomic alterations are commonly associated with neonatal seizures (NS), we investigated the utility of heart rate variability (HRV) indexes of cardiac autonomic regulation for NS detection. Methods: HRV analysis was conducted on ECG tracings recorded during video-EEG monitoring in newborns with NS and matched-controls. The effects of gestational age on HRV were also evaluated. Results: Newborns with NS showed lower resting state HRV compared to controls. Moreover, seizure episodes were characterized by a short-lasting increase in vagal indexes of HRV. Pre-term newborns with NS had a lower HRV than full-term at rest. In pre-term newborns, no changes in HRV were observed before and during NS. On the contrary, full-term newborns showed significantly higher HRV before and during NS compared to the respective baseline values. Conclusion: Our data point to resting autonomic impairment in newborns with NS. In addition, an increment in HRV has been observed during NS only in full term newborns. Significance: Although these findings do not allow validation of HRV measures for NS prediction and detection, they suggest that a putative protective vagal mechanism might be adopted when an advanced maturation of autonomic nervous system is achieved.
Heart rate variability in neonatal patients with seizures / Statello, ROSARIO IGNAZIO; Carnevali, Luca; Alinovi, Davide; Pisani, Francesco; Sgoifo, Andrea. - In: CLINICAL NEUROPHYSIOLOGY. - ISSN 1388-2457. - 129:12(2018), pp. 2534-2540. [10.1016/j.clinph.2018.10.001]
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