Brain injury in the term infant

Semin Perinatol. 2004 Dec;28(6):415-24. doi: 10.1053/j.semperi.2004.10.003.


Perinatal brain injury in the term infant is a relatively uncommon event. The principal lesions are intracranial hemorrhage including subarachnoid, subdural, intraparenchymal, intraventricular, focal cerebral infarction and hypoxic ischemic cerebral injury secondary to intrapartum hypoxia-ischemia. Both intracranial hemorrhage and focal cerebral infarction are invariably identified at the time of clinical symptoms, ie, seizures or apnea. This clearly limits the potential for prevention. The mechanisms contributing to brain injury secondary to intrapartum hypoxia-ischemia have become more clearly defined. Secondary or reperfusion injury is potentially amenable to neuroprotective strategies. Modest hypothermia is one such therapy that has been studied in high-risk newborn infants with some initial success. Future studies need to focus on additional neuroprotective strategies.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cell Death
  • Cerebral Infarction / etiology
  • Humans
  • Hypnotics and Sedatives / therapeutic use
  • Hypothermia, Induced
  • Hypoxia-Ischemia, Brain / complications*
  • Hypoxia-Ischemia, Brain / etiology
  • Hypoxia-Ischemia, Brain / physiopathology
  • Hypoxia-Ischemia, Brain / therapy
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Intracranial Hemorrhages / diagnosis
  • Intracranial Hemorrhages / etiology*
  • Intracranial Hemorrhages / therapy
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Neurons
  • Neuroprotective Agents / therapeutic use
  • Phenobarbital / therapeutic use
  • Reperfusion Injury / etiology
  • Seizures / etiology
  • Seizures / prevention & control
  • Term Birth


  • Hypnotics and Sedatives
  • Neuroprotective Agents
  • Phenobarbital