This study reports subcortical lesions in 7 newborn babies after transient circulatory arrest and/or asphyxia. Basal ganglia, diencephalon, tegmentum of the brain stem and spinal grey matter exhibited extensive necroses in a columnar pattern. The lesions of the telencephalic and cerebellar cortex are less prominent. The spinal cord, available in 3 children, revealed subtotal neuronal loss in all segments. The lesions represent the extreme anoxic damage of the CNS in the perinatal period, comparable with brain death in the adulthood. Moreover, the pattern with predominating subcortical lesions indicates that anoxia affects the grey matter in all levels of the CNS.