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October 1990

Hemorrhagic Shock and Encephalopathy: Clinical Definition of a Catastrophic Syndrome in Infants

Author Affiliations

From the Departments of Neurology (Dr Chaves-Carballo), Pediatrics (Drs Chaves -Carballo, Montes, Nelson, and Chrenka), and Pathology (Dr Chrenka), Eastern Virginia Medical School and Children's Hospital of The King's Daughters, Norfolk. Dr Chaves-Carballo is now with Kansas University Medical Center. Kansas City.

Am J Dis Child. 1990;144(10):1079-1082. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1990.02150340023017

• We treated nine infants who unexpectedly developed shock, seizures, and fever, followed by diarrhea, consumption coagulopathy, and hepatorenal dysfunction. Despite vigorous treatment, three infants died and all except one of the six survivors have severe residual neurologic abnormalities. Postmortem findings included cerebral edema, white matter petechial hemorrhages, gastrointestinal hemorrhages, and fatty liver. These clinicopathologic features are similar to those previously described in 10 infants as being due to hemorrhagic shock and encephalopathy, except for the presence of fatty liver in our patients. Based on the combined experience of 19 infants, we propose diagnostic criteria for hemorrhagic shock and encephalopathy that may facilitate recognition and differentiation from other shock syndromes in infancy.

(AJDC. 1990;144:1079-1082)

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