A Review of the Occurrence of Intraventricular Hemorrhage in Preterm Newborns and its Future Neurodevelopmental Consequences

Cureus. 2023 Nov 17;15(11):e48968. doi: 10.7759/cureus.48968. eCollection 2023 Nov.


Intraventricular hemorrhage (IVH) is a type of bleeding that occurs through the germinal matrix and comes through the ependymal cells into the ventricular cavity. It is mostly seen in preterm neonates but can also be seen sometimes in term neonates. Various factors predispose to preterm delivery; it can be spontaneous or medically induced. Spontaneous IVH occurs in cases of intrauterine infections in the mother, and it can be induced in cases of medical emergencies such as preeclampsia and eclampsia. The brain of a preterm newborn is not fully developed as it does not have pericytes and proteins, so it can bleed very quickly, which can cause IVH. Also, the vessels supplying the germinal matrix are immature and highly vascularized. IVH has four grades based on findings detected on cranial ultrasound and MRI. Management includes medical and surgical management; medical management includes phenobarbitone used for seizures and prophylaxis. Surgical management includes drainage, irrigation, and fibrinolytic therapy (DRIFT), and neuro-endoscopic lavage. IVH causes various short-term and long-term neurodevelopmental consequences. Long-term complications include cerebral palsy and intellectual disability, which hamper the life of the child. It mainly presents with seizures, flaccidity, decerebrate posture, etc. Various preventive measures can be taken to tackle IVH in newborns. First of all, preterm delivery should be avoided, and intrauterine infections in mothers should be treated. The administration of corticosteroids should be done for all preterm deliveries as it helps in the maturation of organs. The administration of magnesium sulfate should be done as it is neuroprotective and reduces cerebral palsy in the future. Delayed cord clamping is to be done to reduce recurrent blood transfusions and decrease the risk of IVH. This article explains the pathogenesis, management, prevention, and future outcomes of IVH.

Keywords: germinal matrix; hemoglobin (hb); intraventricular hemorrhage (ivh); neuroendoscopic lavage; preterm neonate; recombinant human erythropoietin (rhepo).

Publication types

  • Review