Electroencephalographic Activity in Response to Procedural Pain in Preterm Infants Born at 28 and 33 Weeks Gestational Age

Neta Maimon, Ruth E Grunau, Ivan L Cepeda, Michael Friger, Leonel Selnovik, Shlomo Gilat, Eilon Shany

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Objectives: Preterm infants undergo frequent painful procedures in the neonatal intensive care unit. Electroencephalography (EEG) changes in reaction to invasive procedures have been reported in preterm and full-term neonates. Frontal EEG asymmetry as an index of emotion during tactile stimulation shows inconsistent findings in full-term infants, and has not been examined in the context of pain in preterm infants. Our aim was to examine whether heel lance for blood collection induces changes in right-left frontal asymmetry, suggesting negative emotional response, in preterm neonates at different gestational age (GA) at birth and different duration of stay in the neonatal intensive care unit.

Materials and Methods: Three groups of preterm infants were compared: set 1: group 1 (n=24), born and tested at 28 weeks GA; group 2 (n=22), born at 28 weeks GA and tested at 33 weeks; set 2: group 3 (n=25), born and tested at 33 weeks GA. EEG power was calculated for 30-second artifact-free periods, in standard frequency bandwidths, in 3 phases (baseline, up to 5 min after heel lance, 10 min after heel lance).

Results: No significant differences were found in right-left frontal asymmetry, or in ipsilateral or contralateral somatosensory response, across phases. In contrast, the Behavioral Indicators of Infant Pain scores changed across phase (P<0.0001). Infants in group 1 showed lower Behavioral Indicators of Infant Pain scores (P=0.039).

Discussion: There are technical challenges in recording EEG during procedures, as pain induces motor movements. More research is needed to determine the most sensitive approach to measure EEG signals within the context of pain in infancy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1044-1049
JournalClinical Journal of Pain
Volume29
Issue number12
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine
  • Clinical Neurology

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