Intracranial haemorrhage: An incidental finding at magnetic resonance imaging in a cohort of late preterm and term infants

Ida Sirgiovanni, Sabrina Avignone, Michela Groppo, Laura Bassi, Sofia Passera, Paola Schiavolin, Gianluca Lista, Claudia Cinnante, Fabio Triulzi, Monica Fumagalli, Fabio Mosca

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Intracranial haemorrhage (ICH) in term newborns has been increasingly recognised but the occurrence in late preterm infants and the clinical presentation are still unclear. Objective: To investigate the appearance of intracranial haemorrhage at MRI in a cohort of infants born at 34 weeks' gestation or more and to correlate MRI findings with neonatal symptoms. Materials and methods: We retrospectively reviewed neonatal brain MRI scans performed during a 3-year period. We included neonates ≥34 weeks' gestation with intracranial haemorrhage and compared findings with those in babies without intracranial haemorrhage. Babies were classified into three groups according to haemorrhage location: (1) infratentorial, (2) infra- and supratentorial, (3) infra- and supratentorial + parenchymal involvement. Results: Intracranial haemorrhage was observed in 36/240 babies (15%). All of these 36 had subdural haemorrhage. Sixteen babies were included in group 1; 16 in group 2; 4 in group 3. All infants in groups 1 and 2 were asymptomatic except one who was affected by intraventricular haemorrhage grade 3. Among the infants in group 3, who had intracranial haemorrhage with parenchymal involvement, three of the four (75%) presented with acute neurological symptoms. Uncomplicated spontaneous vaginal delivery was reported in 20/36 neonates (56%), vacuum extraction in 4 (11%) and caesarean section in 12 (33%). Babies with intracranial haemorrhage had significantly higher gestational age (38±2 weeks vs. 37±2 weeks) and birth weight (3,097±485 g vs. 2,803 ± 741 g) compared to babies without intracranial haemorrhage and were more likely to be delivered vaginally than by caesarian section. Conclusion: Mild intracranial haemorrhage (groups 1 and 2) is relatively common in late preterm and term infants, although it mostly represents an incidental finding in clinically asymptomatic babies; early neurological symptoms appear to be related to parenchymal involvement.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)289-296
Number of pages8
JournalPediatric Radiology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • Full-term newborn
  • Intracranial haemorrhage
  • Intraparenchymal haemorrhage
  • Late preterm infant
  • MRI
  • Subdural haemorrhage

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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