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August 1988

Neuropathologic Documentation of Prenatal Brain Damage

Author Affiliations

From the Departments of Pathology (Dr Ellis) and Pediatrics (Drs Goetzman and Lindenberg), University of California, Davis, School of Medicine. Dr Lindenberg is now with San Joaquin General Hospital, Stockton, Calif.

Am J Dis Child. 1988;142(8):858-866. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1988.02150080064025

• Neuropathologic evidence of prenatal brain damage, chiefly in cerebral white matter, was found in 25% of infants who died at 7 days of age or less, with a total of ten preterm (16%) and 12 term (48%) infants among the 89 subjects studied. Few clinical features distinguished infants with prenatal injury from those without such injuries. Apgar scores were low, seizures were rare, and acute intracranial hemorrhage occurred equally often in both groups. Few pregnancies were entirely normal, but hydramnios was the only factor that occurred more often in prenatally injured infants, a statistically significant difference only among term infants. Oligohydramnios was not associated with prenatal brain injury. Unless fetal/maternal abnormalities in late gestation are identified and corrected, improved neonatal care will increase survival for prenatally damaged Infants and the incidence of cerebral palsy may rise.

AJDC 1988;142:858-866)

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