Cerebellar hemorrhage on magnetic resonance imaging in preterm newborns associated with abnormal neurologic outcome

J Pediatr. 2011 Feb;158(2):245-50. doi: 10.1016/j.jpeds.2010.07.049. Epub 2010 Sep 15.


Objective: To investigate the relationship between cerebellar hemorrhage in preterm infants seen on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), but not on ultrasonography, and neurodevelopmental outcome.

Study design: Images from a cohort study of MRI in preterm newborns were reviewed for cerebellar hemorrhage. The children were assessed at a mean age of 4.8 years with neurologic examination and developmental testing using the Wechsler Preschool and Primary Scale of Intelligence, Third Edition.

Results: Cerebellar hemorrhage was detected on both ultrasonography and MRI in 3 of the 131 preterm newborns evaluated, whereas smaller hemorrhages were seen only on MRI in 10 newborns (total incidence, 10%). Adjusting for gestational age at birth, intraventricular hemorrhage, and white matter injury, cerebellar hemorrhage detectable solely by MRI was associated with a 5-fold increased odds of abnormal neurologic examination compared with newborns without cerebellar hemorrhage (outcome data in 74%). No association with the Wechsler Preschool and Primary Scale of Intelligence, Third Edition score was found.

Conclusions: Cerebellar hemorrhage is not uncommon in preterm newborns. Although associated with neurologic abnormalities, hemorrhage seen only on MRI is associated with much more optimistic outcomes than that visible on ultrasonography.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Case-Control Studies
  • Cerebellum / pathology*
  • Cerebral Hemorrhage / complications
  • Cerebral Hemorrhage / diagnostic imaging
  • Cerebral Hemorrhage / pathology*
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cohort Studies
  • Developmental Disabilities / epidemiology
  • Developmental Disabilities / etiology*
  • Developmental Disabilities / physiopathology
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infant, Premature*
  • Intelligence Tests
  • Linear Models
  • Logistic Models
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods*
  • Male
  • Neurologic Examination / methods
  • Risk Assessment
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Ultrasonography, Doppler