Book review of Neonatal Seizures: Current Management and Future Challenges edited by
by Janet M Rennie
University College London Hospitals, London, UK
Published in Developmental Medicine and Child Neurology, July 2016
This new monograph from Mac Keith Press on the important topic of neonatal seizures is well overdue. The excellent Diagnosis and Management of Neonatal Seizures by Mizrahi and Kellaway is now almost 20 years old and much has changed in this period. Professor Nagarajan has done a first-class job gathering and collating contributions from experts around the world, balancing the content of the book appropriately, and avoiding too much repetition. The quality of the electroencephalographic (EEG) illustrations is good, helped considerably by the use of colour.
The success of therapeutic hypothermia in the treatment of infants born at term with encephalopathy has provided proof of concept in the prevention of the secondary wave of damage following a hypoxic–ischaemic insult. This welcome translation of experimental results to the cotside has driven the adoption of neuroprotective neonatal intensive care, of which cotside EEG and amplitude-integrated EEG (aEEG) monitoring are key components. Those who are new to the field will find this book a clear and helpful introduction, while those who have long been involved with neonatal EEG will welcome the up-to-date reviews and references.
The content of the book is comprehensive: video-EEG, aEEG, and automated EEG interpretation all have separate chapters. Hellström-Westas, Rosén, and de Vries have written (as usual) a thorough review of the role of aEEG in the neonatal unit, reflecting on both the advantages and disadvantages of this technique. Automated seizure detection is becoming a definite prospect and Stevenson and Boylan have reviewed the current state of the art in their chapter. There is also a helpful chapter on imaging, and a review of current and possible future treatment strategies.
In my opinion this book fills a definite gap in the market and would be a useful addition to the neonatal unit library in any level III unit, and to the personal library of any neonatologist with an interest in neonatal brain injury. Reading this book will bring the reader right up-to-date with the field, and is an enjoyable experience.