MR patterns of hypoxic-ischemic brain damage after prenatal, perinatal or postnatal asphyxia

Neuropediatrics. 2000 Jun;31(3):128-36. doi: 10.1055/s-2000-7496.


The relationship between MR patterns of brain damage and type or timing of perinatal hypoxia-ischemia was studied. MR images of 104 children with evidence of bilateral posthypoxic-ischemic brain damage and neonatal records were reviewed. Three different MR patterns were found. Periventricular leukomalacia occurred in 73 children, in 82% after a history of subacute or chronic hypoxia-ischemia, in 71% after preterm birth. Predominant lesions of basal ganglia and thalamus occurred in 21 children, in 95% preceded by acute profound asphyxia, in 85% after term birth. Multicystic encephalopathy occurred in 10 infants, in 70% preceded by mild signs of hypoxia-ischemia, followed by an unexpectedly severe encephalopathy, in 60% after term birth. Statistical analysis showed that the patterns of injury were primarily related to the type of hypoxia-ischemia. We conclude that the type of hypoxia-ischemia, rather than the postconceptional age at occurrence determines the pattern of brain injury.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Asphyxia Neonatorum / complications*
  • Atrophy / pathology
  • Brain / pathology*
  • Chronic Disease
  • Female
  • Fetal Diseases
  • Humans
  • Hypoxia-Ischemia, Brain / diagnosis*
  • Hypoxia-Ischemia, Brain / etiology*
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infant, Premature
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Perinatology
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors