Background: Maturation of amplitude-integrated electroencephalogram (aEEG) activity is influenced by both gestational age (GA) and postmenstrual age. It is not fully known how this process is influenced by cerebral lesions. Objective: To compare early aEEG developmental changes between preterm newborns with different degrees of cerebral lesions on cranial ultrasound (cUS). Methods: Prospective cohort study on preterm newborns with GA <32.0 weeks, undergoing continuous aEEG recording during the first 84 h after birth. aEEG characteristics were qualitatively and quantitatively evaluated using pre-established criteria. Based on cUS findings three groups were formed: normal (n = 78), mild (n = 20), and severe cerebral lesions (n = 6). Linear mixed models for repeated measures were used to analyze aEEG maturational trajectories. Results: 104 newborns with a mean GA (range) 29.5 (24.4-31.7) weeks, and birth weight 1,220 (580-2,020) g were recruited. Newborns with severe brain lesions started with similar aEEG scores and tendentially lower aEEG amplitudes than newborns without brain lesions, and showed a slower development of the cyclic activity (p < 0.001), but a more rapid increase of the maximum and minimum aEEG amplitudes (p = 0.002 and p = 0.04). Conclusions: Preterm infants with severe cerebral lesions manifest a maturational delay in the aEEG cyclic activity already early after birth, but show a catch-up of aEEG amplitudes to that of newborns without cerebral lesions. Changes in the maturational aEEG pattern may be a marker of severe neurological lesions in the preterm infant.