In preterm infants, the germinal matrix is a common origin of hemorrhages during the first 7 days of life. Sonographically, germinal matrix hemorrhages present as subventricular echodensities evolving into pseudocysts. Similar lesions have been reported as incidental findings also beyond 7 days of life. They may result from vasculitis and ischemic infarction, rather than hemorrhage. To assess the occurrence, time course, and significance for neurodevelopment of such late germinal matrix hemorrhage-like lesions, we reviewed serial cerebral ultrasound examinations obtained in 86 sequentially admitted infants (gestational age <32 weeks or birth weight <1500 g). Neurodevelopment was assessed at 3 years (Bayley Scales of Infant Development). Nine infants had late isolated germinal matrix hemorrhage-like lesions. Their Psychomotor Development Index scores were significantly lower than that in infants without hemorrhage. Our results suggest that late isolated germinal matrix hemorrhage-like lesions are of clinical significance because of their notable incidence and association with neurodevelopmental outcome.

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Journal of Child Neurology
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Horsch, S, Kutz, P, & Roll, C. (2010). Late germinal matrix hemorrhage-like lesions in very preterm infants. Journal of Child Neurology, 25(7), 809–814. doi:10.1177/0883073809346849