Pediatric Intraventricular Hemorrhage and Stroke
Intraventricular hemorrhage (IVH) is bleeding into the brain’s ventricular system (the communication network), which can result from physical trauma or from hemorrhaging (bleeding) during a stroke.
Intraventricular hemorrhage can damage or kill areas of the brain that are critical to development and motor function. Intraventricular hemorrhage is a frequent cause of death in premature infants (babies born more than three weeks early).
The cause of IVH can be congenital (present at birth) or acquired (develops over time). A stroke (when blood flow to the brain is cut off and cells are damaged) is one cause of intraventricular hemorrhages.
Other causes include:
- Blood-clotting abnormalities
- Head injury
- Malformed or weakened blood vessels in the brain
- Maternal high blood pressure (hypertension)
- Maternal infection
- Pelvic inflammatory disease
- Placental blood clots
- Shaken baby syndrome (head trauma as a result of forcibly shaking a child age newborn to 5 years)
The hemorrhage can be arterial or venous:
- Arterial bleeding – This type of hemorrhage results in additional loss of oxygen to tissue because arteries carry oxygenated blood to the heart. Arterial hemorrhages are harder to control than venous hemorrhages.
- Venous bleeding – This type of hemorrhage affects the veins that return blood to the heart.
Symptoms of an intraventricular hemorrhage include:
- Abnormal eye movement
- Apnea (pauses in breathing)
- Decreased muscle tone
- Decreased reflexes
- Excessive sleep or lethargy
- Fallen blood count
- Pale or blue coloring
- Shrill cry
- Weak suck
Symptoms of a stroke include:
- Extreme sleepiness
- Using only one side of the body