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Pediatr Dev Pathol. 2013 May-Jun;16(3):149-59. doi: 10.2350/12-08-1232-OA.1. Epub 2012 Oct 31.

Nontraumatic intradural and subdural hemorrhage and hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy in fetuses, infants, and children up to three years of age: analysis of two audits of 636 cases from two referral centers in the United Kingdom.

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  • 1Barts Health NHS Trust, United Kingdom.


We analyzed the presence or absence of intradural hemorrhage (IDH) and subdural hemorrhage (SDH) and the degree of hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE) in the brain of all nonmacerated fetuses of >24 weeks, neonates, and children up to 3 years of age who died of natural causes over a defined period. We looked into the cause of death and the performance of cardiopulmonary resuscitation in our cohort. The IDH was classified as macroscopic or negative/microscopic only; the HIE was classified as absent, indeterminate, or definite. In fetuses, SDH with IDH was present in 22%; IDH alone was present in 31%, and there was no or minimal hemorrhage in 47% of cases. In infants and children SDH with IDH was present in 19%; IDH alone was present in the 32%, and there was no or minimal hemorrhage in 49% of cases. There was a statistically significant correlation between SDH and HIE, especially in infants and children (P < 0.001). When cases were grouped per age, a significant association between age and hemorrhage (P < 0.0001) was demonstrated, SDH being more common in infants ≤1 month corrected age. Intradural hemorrhage can be the source of thin-film SDH in fetuses, infants, and young children. The presence of SDH is associated with hypoxia. Intradural and subdural hemorrhages are more common in autopsies of infants under 1 month corrected age. Although more rare, they can also be found in children between 1 month and 3 years of age in the absence of trauma.

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