EEG power spectrum maturation in preterm fetal growth restricted infants

Emily Cohen, Flora Y. Wong, Euan M. Wallace, Joanne C. Mockler, Alexsandria Odoi, Samantha Hollis, Rosemary S.C. Horne, Stephanie R. Yiallourou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Power spectral analysis of the electroencephalogram (EEG) is a non-invasive method to examine infant brain maturation. Preterm fetal growth restricted (p-FGR) neonates display an altered EEG power spectrum compared to appropriate-for-gestational-age (AGA) peers, suggesting delayed brain maturation. Longitudinal studies investigating EEG power spectrum maturation in p-FGR infants are lacking, however. We thus aimed to investigate brain maturation using sleep EEG power spectral analysis in p-FGR infants compared to preterm and term AGA controls (p-AGA and t-AGA, respectively). EEG was recorded during spontaneous sleep in 13 p-FGR, 17 p-AGA and 19 t-AGA infants at 1 and 6 months post-term age. Infant sleep states (active and quiet sleep) were scored using standard criteria. Power spectral analysis of a single-channel EEG (C3-M2/C4-M1) was performed using Fast Fourier Transform. The EEG power spectrum was divided into delta (0.5–4 Hz), theta (4–8 Hz), alpha (8–12 Hz), sigma (12–14 Hz) and beta (14–30 Hz) frequency bands. Relative (%) powers and the spectral edge frequency were calculated. The spectral edge frequency was significantly higher in p-FGR infants compared to p-AGA controls in quiet sleep at 1 month post-term age (p <.01). This was due to significantly reduced %-delta and significantly increased %-theta, %-alpha and %-beta power (p <.01 for all) compared to p-AGA infants. p-FGR infants also showed significantly increased %-beta power compared to t-AGA infants (p <.05). No group differences were observed in active sleep or at 6 months post-term age. In conclusion, p-FGR infants show altered sleep EEG power spectrum maturation compared to AGA peers. However, changes resolved by 6 months post-term age.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)180-186
Number of pages7
JournalBrain Research
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2018


  • Electroencephalogram
  • Fetal growth restriction
  • Intrauterine growth restriction
  • Neurodevelopment
  • Prematurity
  • Spectral analysis

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