Prevalence and etiology of intracranial hemorrhage in term children under the age of two years: a retrospective study of computerized tomographic imaging and clinical outcome in 798 children

Acad Radiol. 2009 May;16(5):572-7. doi: 10.1016/j.acra.2009.01.007.


Rationale and objectives: The purposes of this study were to retrospectively identify various etiologies underlying intracranial hemorrhages (ICHs) in term infants aged <2 years and their respective prevalence in this population and to describe the long-term clinical outcomes in these patients.

Materials and methods: A retrospective review of the medical records and computed tomographic studies of the head in 798 term infants aged 0 to 24 months with suspected or known ICHs was conducted.

Results: ICHs were present in 195 of the 798 infants (24%). More than one type of ICH was present in 32%. Subdural hemorrhage was the most frequent type of ICH, occurring in 63% of the infants. Good clinical outcomes were present in 49% of the infants but varied depending on the location, etiology, and timing of the ICH.

Conclusion: The incidence of various etiologies of ICH depended on the ages of the infants. The overall clinical outcomes were good, with no long-term sequelae in half of the infants presenting with ICHs. In infants aged >4 weeks presenting with ICHs, special attention should be given to the possibility of nonaccidental trauma etiology, because this is common and has worse long-term outcomes.

MeSH terms

  • Brain Injuries / diagnostic imaging*
  • Brain Injuries / epidemiology*
  • Causality
  • Child
  • Comorbidity
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Intracranial Hemorrhages / diagnostic imaging*
  • Intracranial Hemorrhages / epidemiology*
  • Michigan / epidemiology
  • Prevalence
  • Prognosis
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed / statistics & numerical data*