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June 1970

Central Nervous System Damage in the Human Fetus and Newborn Infant: Mechanical and Hypoxic Injury Incurred in the Fetal-Neonatal Period

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Neuropathology, Harvard University Medical School, Boston; the Laboratory of Neuropathology, Danvers State Hospital, Hathorne, Mass; and the Department of Pathology (Neonatology), St. Margaret's Hospital, Boston.

Am J Dis Child. 1970;119(6):529-542. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1970.02100050531015

Four basic types of central nervous system (CNS) damage make their appearance in the fetus and newborn.1-5 The lesions are of consistent form and specific origin. Pathologically, the four types of damage stem from the effects of hypoxia and from mechanical trauma incurred during gestation and birth. In each form, the occurrence of the damage is directly influenced by the factor of gestational age. Premature infants are subject to processes of neurological damage which do not occur in the term infant.

Recent studies reported by the present investigator have focused attention upon underlying processes of pathogenesis related to mechanical and hypoxic damage to the CNS in the fetus and newborn.1 -5 The details of these preliminary studies, first presented for publication in the province of pathology and neuropathology, have generally not come to the attention of the clinician. The present report reviews selected aspects of these investigations for