Intraventricular Hemorrhage

Also known as: IVH, intraventricular hemorrhage of the newborn, intracerebral hemorrhage, bleeding into the brain.

What is intraventricular hemorrhage?

IVH of the newborn is bleeding into the fluid filled cavities (ventricles) of the baby’s brain. It occurs most frequently in babies born prematurely (early), particularly if they are less than 30 weeks gestation (baby’s blood vessels mature and get stronger later in pregnancy).
There are four types (or “grades”) of IVH. Types 1 and 2 are usually small bleeds and don't cause significant long term problems. Grades 3 and 4 involve more severe bleeding.

What causes intraventricular hemorrhage?

The smaller and the more premature the baby, the less developed/weaker the blood vessels are in the brain, and the more likely they will bleed (though rarely, full term babies may also have IVH). IVH frequently occurs in babies with Respiratory distress syndrome, a blood pressure which is unstable, or other medical conditions.

What are the symptoms of intraventricular hemorrhage? 

There may be no symptoms, or symptoms (which usually appear a few days after birth) may include a high-pitched cry, lethargy, seizures (and other abnormal movements), poor muscle tone, weak suck, trouble breathing (with pauses-apnoea), changes in heart rate and blood pressure, and a pale or bluish skin color.

What are intraventricular hemorrhage care options? 

There is no way to prevent IVH so treatment is primarily aimed at stabilizing the baby and managing the symptoms. 

Reviewed by: Jack Wolfsdorf, MD, FAAP

This page was last updated on: 1/11/2018 2:00:02 PM

From the Newsdesk

March Patient of the Month: Theodore
03/15/2018 — Meet our March Patient of the Month, Theodore. Theodore was diagnosed with cleft palate, cleft lip and a heart problem when he was only 18 weeks old. After he was born, Theodore had to be admitted into the NICU to be able to perform the necessary surgeries for him to live a healthy life.
Duchenne Regional Family Summit
12/02/2017 — CureDuchenne Cares and The Nicklaus Children’s Hospital Brain Institute hosted a free educational and social event for Duchenne family and caregivers. Attendees were able to learn about important DMD care topics, share their practical advice and connect with other families.