Neurologic outcome of prematurity

Arch Neurol. 1998 Mar;55(3):297-300. doi: 10.1001/archneur.55.3.297.


Brain injury in the premature infant is an extremely important problem, in part because of the large absolute number of infants affected yearly. The 2 principal brain lesions that underlie the neurological manifestations subsequently observed in premature infants are periventricular hemorrhagic infarction and periventricular leukomalacia. The emphases of this article are the neuropathological features, pathogenesis, and potential means of prevention of these 2 lesions. Recent work suggests that the ultimate goal, prevention of the lesions, is potentially achievable. Periventricular hemorrhagic infarction may be avoidable by prevention of germinal matrix-intraventricular hemorrhage, and periventricular leukomalacia by detection of impaired cerebrovascular autoregulation, prevention of impaired cerebral blood flow, and interruption of the cascade to oligodendroglial cell death by such agents as free radical scavengers.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Brain / growth & development*
  • Brain / physiopathology*
  • Cerebral Infarction / physiopathology*
  • Cerebral Infarction / prevention & control
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infant, Premature / growth & development*
  • Leukomalacia, Periventricular / physiopathology*
  • Leukomalacia, Periventricular / prevention & control