Neonatal Hypoxic-ischemic Encephalopathy: A Radiological Review

J Pediatr Neurosci. 2017 Jan-Mar;12(1):1-6. doi: 10.4103/1817-1745.205646.


Neonatal hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE) is a devastating condition that may result in death or severe neurologic deficits in children. Neuroimaging with cranial ultrasound (US), computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging are valuable tools in the workup of patients with HIE. The pattern of brain injury depends on the severity and duration of hypoxia and degree of brain maturation. Mild to moderate HI injury results in periventricular leukomalacia and germinal matrix bleed in preterm neonates, and parasagittal watershed infarcts in full-term neonates. Severe HI injury involves deep gray matter in both term and preterm infants. Treatment of HIE is largely supportive. The current article reviews the etiopathophysiology and clinical manifestations of HIE, role of imaging in the evaluation of the condition, patterns of brain injury in term and preterm neonates, the treatment and the prognosis.

Keywords: Computed tomography; cranial ultrasound; hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy; magnetic resonance imaging.

Publication types

  • Review