Intraventricular hemorrhage in the preterm infant

Early Hum Dev. 1996 Jan 5;44(1):1-16. doi: 10.1016/0378-3782(95)01692-9.


Intraventricular hemorrhage (IVH) is a common neonatal morbidity among premature infants which is diagnosed by cranial ultrasound in the newborn special care unit. Although very premature infants are more likely to experience the highest grades of hemorrhage, a number of perinatal and postnatal events have been shown to be associated with its occurrence. Factors such as vaginal delivery, labor, and intrapartum asphyxia have been associated with early onset of hemorrhage, whereas antenatal exposure to steroids may be protective. Respiratory Distress Syndrome has also been associated with hemorrhage. Since infants with a history of IVH have increased mortality rates and are at increased risk of seizures, periventricular leukomalacia, hydrocephalus, and neurodevelopmental handicap, many investigators have studied management techniques and pharmacologic interventions to decrease the incidence of IVH, including muscle paralysis, phenobarbital, Vitamin E, indomethacin, ethamsylate and surfactant. Our investigations have shown that low dose indomethacin (0.1 mg/kg i.v.) at 6-12 postnatal hours and every 24 h for two more doses decreases the incidence of all grades of IVH within the first 5 days of life. Although tremendous progress has been made in the understanding of the pathogenesis and prevention of IVH, innovative animal and human studies are needed to further reduce the incidence of this important neonatal morbidity.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cerebral Hemorrhage* / complications
  • Cerebral Hemorrhage* / diagnostic imaging
  • Cerebral Hemorrhage* / epidemiology
  • Cerebral Hemorrhage* / etiology
  • Cerebral Hemorrhage* / physiopathology
  • Cerebrovascular Circulation
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Gestational Age
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infant, Premature*
  • Risk Factors
  • Ultrasonography