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Minerva Med. 2013 Jun;104(3):349-55.

Severe brain damage in premature infants associated with postnatal infection.

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  • 1Department of Pediatrics, Bethune International Peace Hospital Shijiazhuang, Province of Hebei, China.



This study examined clinical features and neuroimaging characteristics of severe brain damage in premature infants with postnatal infection.


We retrospectively analyzed clinical data of two preterm infants who developed extensive encephalomalacia secondary to postnatal infection.


Two premature boys experienced serious postnatal infection at about 3 weeks after birth; the infection was characterized by lethargy, apnea, increased CRP, severe bilateral pneumonia, positive sputum culture for multidrug-resistant bacteria, and mild changes of cerebrospinal fluid. Both infants required ventilation and antibiotic therapy. While both infants survived, a very extensive encephalomalacia was documented by serial cranial ultrasound, MRI and CT scans 3 to 4 weeks after postnatal infection. Their mothers had no premature ruptures of membranes and no signs of antenatal infection, suggesting potential postnatal infection in the infants.


More studies are needed to better understand the underlying mechanism of encephalomalacia associated with postnatal infection. To facilitate early diagnosis and effective treatment, cranial ultrasound scans should be done routinely in premature infants with serious postnatal infection.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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