Objectives The important role of the EEG in preterm and term babies in investigating brain function and seizures, predicting outcomes, evaluating therapeutic interventions and decision-making is being increasingly acknowledged. Development of the brain in the last trimester of pregnancy results in rapid changes in the EEG patterns in this period. Acquiring and interpreting the EEG of a preterm baby can be challenging. The aim of this study was to develop a proforma titled CARFS7 (Continuity, Amplitude, Reactivity, Frequency, Synchrony, Symmetry, Sleep, Sharps, Shapes, Size and Seizures) to enable neurologists to read EEGs of premature babies with greater confidence, ease and accuracy and produce a report more easily repeatable and homogenous among operators. Methods The CARFS7proforma was developed based on a literature review and the personal experience of the authors. The parameters of the EEG evaluated and scored in the proforma are Continuity, Amplitude, Reactivity/Variability, Frequency, Synchrony, Symmetry, Sleep, Sharps, Shapes/Patterns, Size and Seizures. We also assessed the interrater reliability of the proposed scoring system incorporated in the proforma. Results CARFS7 proforma incorporates a number of parameters that help evaluate the preterm EEG. The interrater reliability of the proposed scoring system in the CARFS7proforma was high. Conclusions CARFS7 is a user friendly proforma for reading EEGs in the preterm infant. Interrater reliability using Cohen's k shows high agreement between two child neurologists who independently rated the EEGs of 25 premature babies using this proforma. CARFS7 has the potential to provide, accurate, reproducible and valuable information on brain function in the preterm infant in clinical practice.
CARFS7: A guide and proforma for reading a preterm neonate's EEG / Nagarajan, Lakshmi; Pisani, Francesco; Ghosh, Soumya. - In: NEUROPHYSIOLOGIE CLINIQUE-CLINICAL NEUROPHYSIOLOGY. - ISSN 0987-7053. - 52:4(2022), pp. 265-279. [10.1016/j.neucli.2022.05.002]