Engel, R.C. H.
ABNORMAL ELECTROENCEPHALOGRAMS IN THE NEONATAL PERIOD
Springfield, III.: Charles C Thomas, Publisher, 1975, 128 p.
Abnormal Electroencephalograms in the Neonatal Period, by Dr. Rudolph C. H. Engel, is a valuable contribution to the understanding of the electroencephalogram (EEG) as a noninvasive technique for discovering cerebral pathophysiology at each gestational age, with emphasis on its value in establishing the neurologic diagnosis and especially prognosis in the neonatal period. His detailed, scholarly approach - combined with concise, relevant clinical material, accompanying EEG tracings, and, when available, radiologic and pathologic data - makes this book a superb reference work that is succinct and readable. It is a true asset to the pediatrician, neonatologist, and neurologist.
The focus of the book is on the discovery of some EEG patterns that, although not diagnostic, are characteristic of certain clinical entities and can be helpful for prognosis. Such patterns would include the isoelectric records and the explanation of criteria for cerebral death, clinical correlation of flat tracings with hydrencephaly and porencephaly, and the positive sharp waves seen in intraventricular hemorrhage in premature infants. Alpha- and thetalike bursts that are similar to patterns seen in normal adult wake and drowsy records are pathologic in neonates. The author also illustrates normal variants, such as spikes in tracé alternant oí the newborn, which are often misinterpreted as abnormal. There is also a review of the value and limitations of the evoked visual and auditory potentials in the neonate. The bibliography is comprehensive and current.
Dr. Engel justly credits the group led by Mme. DreyfusBrisac in Paris as the pioneers of the EEG in the premature and full-term infant.
It should also be appreciated that this carefully done work was supported by the National Institute of Neurological Disease and Stroke, emphasizing again the importance and value of such sponsored research toward obtaining an understanding of the pathophysiology of disease and its diagnosis and prognosis and thus enabling us to give better care to our greatest national resource, our children. D