Relationship between periventricular intraparenchymal echodensities and germinal matrix-intraventricular hemorrhage in the very low birth weight neonate

J. M. Perlman, N. Rollins, D. Burns, R. Risser

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


The pathogenesis of the periventricular intraparenchymal echodense lesion (IPE) observed in association with germinal matrix-intraventricular hemorrhage (GM-IVH) in premature neonates is unclear. The objectives of this study were to determine (1) the temporal characteristics of GM-IVH and IPE, (2) the basic characteristics of the IPE, and (3) the relationship of clinical events, including surfactant administration, to IPE. One hundred twenty-four neonates of less than 1250 g birth weight were prospectively evaluated. IPE was defined as an echodensity greater than 1 cm in diameter by cranial sonography. Fifteen (12%) neonates developed IPE in association with GM-IVH (group 1); 33 neonates developed GM-IVH only (group 2) and 76 neonates without GM-IVH served as comparison group (group 3). IPE was essentially an asymmetrical lesion; both sides of cerebrum were equally affected. The lesion was diffuse in 9 neonates and focal in 5. IPE occurred both early, at 36 hours or before (n = 8), and later, ie, between 48 and 96 hours (n = 6). In one neonate IPE was diagnosed at autopsy. GM-IVH and IPE were noted simultaneously in neonate with the earlier onset IPE (diagnosed within 36 hours); GM-IVH preceded the IPE by 6 to 48 hours when the lesion was of a later onset. Surfactant was administered to 13 (87%) group 1, 24 (73%) group 2, and 35 (46%) group 3 neonates. Pulmonary hemorrhage developed in 9 (60%) of group 1, 3 (9%) group 2, and no group 3 neonates. Symptomatic patent ductus arteriosus occurred in 12 (75%) group 1, 15 (45%) group 2, and 15 (20%) group 3 neonates. The onset of symptoms associated with patent ductus arteriosus was earlier in group 1 vs group 2 or group 3 neonates, ie, 70 vs 172 hours. Nine (60%) group 1 neonates, 6 (18%) group 2, and 5 (7%) group 3 neonates died. The cranial sonogram was markedly abnormal in all 6 group 1 survivors. Stepwise polytomous logistic regression indicated that birth weight, gestational age, and emergent cesarean section were the best predictors of GM-IVH + IPE. These data indicate that (1) the large IPE observed with GM-IVH remains a major problem of the very low birth weight neonate, despite surfactant administration; (2) complications during labor that lead to emergent cesarean section appear to increase the risk for IPE; and (3) IPE was frequently associated with PH, but the precise mechanism(s) that link these two lesions are unclear. Attempts at prevention of IPE need to consider both perinatal and postnatal provocative factors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)474-480
Number of pages7
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1993


  • intraventricular hemorrhage
  • low birth weight
  • periventricular echodensities
  • pulmonary hemorrhage

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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