Pediatric Intraventricular Hemorrhage and Stroke

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.

Expanded overview

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.


Intraventricular hemorrhage

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
  • Seizures
  • Shrill cry
  • Weak suck


Symptoms of a stroke include:

  • Extreme sleepiness
  • Seizures
  • Using only one side of the body

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