Neuropathologic documentation of prenatal brain damage

Am J Dis Child. 1988 Aug;142(8):858-66. doi: 10.1001/archpedi.1988.02150080064025.


Neuropathologic evidence of prenatal brain damage, chiefly in cerebral white matter, was found in 25% of infants who died at 7 days of age or less, with a total of ten preterm (16%) and 12 term (48%) infants among the 89 subjects studied. Few clinical features distinguished infants with prenatal injury from those without such injuries. Apgar scores were low, seizures were rare, and acute intracranial hemorrhage occurred equally often in both groups. Few pregnancies were entirely normal, but hydramnios was the only factor that occurred more often in prenatally injured infants, a statistically significant difference only among term infants. Oligohydramnios was not associated with prenatal brain injury. Unless fetal/maternal abnormalities in late gestation are identified and corrected, improved neonatal care will increase survival for prenatally damaged infants and the incidence of cerebral palsy may rise.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Brain / pathology
  • Brain Diseases / epidemiology
  • Brain Diseases / etiology
  • Brain Diseases / pathology*
  • Cerebral Hemorrhage / epidemiology
  • Cerebral Hemorrhage / etiology
  • Cerebral Hemorrhage / pathology
  • Female
  • Fetal Diseases / epidemiology
  • Fetal Diseases / etiology
  • Fetal Diseases / pathology*
  • Histological Techniques
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infant, Premature
  • Necrosis
  • Pregnancy
  • Retrospective Studies