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Encephalopathy in neonates with subgaleal hemorrhage is a key predictor of outcome.

Pediatr Res. 2019 Apr 18;:

Authors: El-Dib M, Parziale M, Johnson L, Benson CB, Ellen Grant P, Robinson J, Volpe JJ, Inder T

OBJECTIVE: Subgaleal hemorrhage (SGH) is reported to be associated with severe hemodynamic instability, coagulopathy, and even mortality. The importance of the presence or absence of neonatal encephalopathy in predicting SGH outcomes has not been explored. The aim of this study was to determine the relationship of clinical encephalopathy to short-term outcomes in neonates with SGH.
STUDY DESIGN: Neonates ≥35 weeks gestation, diagnosed radiologically with SGH between 2010 and 2017, were included. Cases were divided into encephalopathic and no-encephalopathic. Demographic, clinical, and outcome data were compared between groups.
RESULTS: Of 54,048 live births, 56 had SGH, of them 13 (23%) had encephalopathy. When compared to the non-encephalopathic neonates, encephalopathic neonates had lower Apgar scores, lower hemoglobin, less platelet count, longer neonatal intensive care unit stay, two (15%) deaths, and four (31%) required blood transfusion. No non-encephalopathic infant with SGH died or required blood transfusion. Notably, on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), a majority of subgaleal collections had either no or minimal blood products.
CONCLUSIONS: In the absence of encephalopathy, SGH is not associated with adverse short-term outcome. Neurological assessment is likely to identify infants at higher risk for adverse outcome. The absence of MRI signal consistent with blood in subgaleal collection warrants further research.

PMID: 30999320 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher]

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