Early and late intraventricular hemorrhage: the role of obstetric factors

Obstet Gynecol. 1992 Nov;80(5):831-7.


Objective: To evaluate the influence of active phase labor and other obstetric factors on the development of periventricular-intraventricular hemorrhage in the neonate.

Methods: A total of 230 infants were studied. Antenatal enrollment was carried out when estimated fetal weight was 1750 g or less. Serial head ultrasound scans were performed to screen for periventricular-intraventricular hemorrhage, with the initial scan performed within minutes of birth. Scan findings and obstetric and neonatal variables collected prospectively at scheduled intervals were analyzed to determine the significant factors that predispose to intraventricular hemorrhage.

Results: In 47 infants (20%), intraventricular hemorrhage was detected within 1 hour of birth (early) and in another 49 (21%) at a later age (late). The overall incidence of hemorrhage was similar between vaginal and cesarean deliveries (41 and 44%, respectively). Early hemorrhage was more frequent in vaginal (28%) than cesarean deliveries (11%), whereas late hemorrhage was more frequent in cesarean deliveries. When the role of delivery mode and labor was analyzed by stepwise logistic regression, the odds ratios for development of early intraventricular hemorrhage increased in the following order: cesarean delivery with no labor, cesarean delivery with latent phase labor, vaginal delivery with forceps use, cesarean delivery with active phase labor, and vaginal delivery without forceps use. For late hemorrhage, the odds ratios increased in the following order: vaginal delivery with forceps, vaginal delivery without forceps, cesarean delivery with no labor, cesarean delivery with latent phase labor, and cesarean delivery with active phase labor.

Conclusions: Active phase labor may predispose to early periventricular-intraventricular hemorrhage, but its influence may be attenuated by use of forceps or by abdominal delivery. The protective effect of forceps remains for late periventricular-intraventricular hemorrhage, but abdominal delivery does not seem to protect against late hemorrhage.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Cerebral Hemorrhage / epidemiology*
  • Cerebral Hemorrhage / etiology
  • Cerebral Ventricles*
  • Cesarean Section* / adverse effects
  • Delivery, Obstetric / adverse effects
  • Delivery, Obstetric / methods
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Labor, Obstetric
  • Obstetrical Forceps* / adverse effects
  • Odds Ratio
  • Pregnancy
  • Regression Analysis
  • Time Factors