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Neurosurgery. 1983 Oct;13(4):452-6.

Posterior fossa hemorrhage in the term neonate.


Posterior fossa hemorrhage (PFH) in the newborn term infant has been infrequently reported, and before computed tomographic (CT) scanning most were identified at postmortem examination. The origin and causes of PFH in the term neonate differ from those in adults. The main possible causes are: (a) tentorial and falx disruption with avulsion of bridging veins due to mechanical compression and distortion of the head during the birth process, resulting in posterior fossa subdural collections and vermis hematoma, and (b) occipital osteodiastasis associated with cerebellar hemisphere laceration, with intracerebellar hematoma and subdural collections. Three full-term neonates with PFH were operated on with good outcome. Both of the possible causes contributed to the hemorrhage. Review of the literature to date has led to the following conclusions: (a) PFH in the term infant is frequently associated with breech delivery, forceps instrumentation, and prolonged labor with cranial molding. (b) Massive PFH is associated with dural sinus laceration, rupture of the vein of Galen, or rupture of hematoma into the subdural space. Symptoms may be delayed up to 96 hours in cases where there is a small continuing hemorrhage. (c) CT scanning with reconstructions is essential to provide precise localization of the hemorrhage and thus avoid errors in interpretation. (d) Prompt removal of PFH improves survival and decreases sequelae. (e) Shunting procedures are necessary in 36% of the cases.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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