Intraventricular hemorrhage in term neonates with hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy: a comparison study between neonates treated with and without hypothermia

Natalia Gorelik, Ricardo Faingold, Alan Daneman, Monica Epelman


Background: To retrospectively determine the prevalence of intraventricular hemorrhage (IVH) in term neonates with hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE) using head ultrasound (HUS) and MRI, and to compare the incidence of IVH in term babies with HIE treated by therapeutic hypothermia versus those managed conventionally.
Methods: A total of 61 term neonates from two institutions were diagnosed with HIE shortly after birth. Thirty infants from one institution were treated with whole body hypothermia. These infants had to satisfy the entry criteria for the neonatal hypothermia protocol of the institution. Thirty-one neonates underwent conventional treatment at the second institution. At that time, hypothermia was not yet a standard of care at that institution. All the neonates underwent HUS in their first 23 days of life. The 54 survivors also underwent MRI. The imaging studies were all reviewed for IVH.
Results: Amongst the 30 babies, who received whole body hypothermia, there were 18 males and 12 females, the mean birth weight was 3.5 kg (2.5 to 5.2 kg), and the HUS study was performed within 14.8 to 41 hours of life. The group of 31 infants treated conventionally was comprised of 12 boys and 19 girls, the infants had an average birth weight of 3.3 kg (2.3 to 4.2 kg), and they underwent HUS 1 to 23 days after birth, with only five children being older than 1 week at the time of the imaging studies. Four of the 61 infants (7%) were diagnosed with IVH on HUS. Three were confirmed with MRI. The fourth case showed a bilateral enlarged choroid plexus on HUS, but IVH could not be confirmed with MRI, as the infant did not survive. In the group of neonates treated with hypothermia, there were three cases (10%) of IVH, whereas in the group managed conventionally, IVH occurred in one infant (3%).
Conclusions: Our study shows that IVH remains uncommon in term infants with HIE. IVH was more prevalent in the group treated with hypothermia.