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HomeHealth articlesintraventricular hemorrhageWhat Is Intraventricular Hemorrhage?

Intraventricular Hemorrhage - Risk Factors, Symptoms, Diagnosis, and Management

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Intraventricular hemorrhage of the newborn can potentially threaten the infant's life. Read the article below to know more.

Medically reviewed by

Dr. Abhishek Juneja

Published At February 9, 2023
Reviewed AtJuly 14, 2023


Intraventricular hemorrhage originated in the periventricular subependymal germinal matrix with a subsequent entry of blood into the ventricular system. Intraventricular hemorrhage developing within seventy-two hours of birth may lead to an early intraventricular hemorrhage. Intraventricular hemorrhage developing after seventy-two hours of birth may lead to late ventricular hemorrhage.

It is more common in premature birth, especially in very low birth weight cases, weighing less than fifteen hundred grams. It is more common in premature birth, especially in very low birth weight infant, weighing less than fifteen hundred grams. The cranial vessels are not fully developed and are extremely fragile.

  • Premature birth.

  • Difficult delivery.

  • Infection in the infant's mother.

  • Breathing difficulties such as pneumothorax or respiratory distress syndrome.

  • Bleeding problems.

What Is the Pathogenesis of Intraventricular Hemorrhage?

Intraventricular hemorrhage occurs in the subependymal germinal matrix. It is located between the caudate nucleus and the ependymal lining of the lateral ventricle. The blood vessels in this area are immature and prone to hypoxic-ischemic injury.

Fluctuations in the cerebral blood flow play a crucial role in developing intraventricular hemorrhage. A sudden rise in systemic blood pressure may increase cerebral circulation with subsequent rupture of the germinal matrix vessels. A marked decrease in cerebral blood flow can result in ischemic injury to germinal matrix vessels, which ruptures on reperfusion.

What Are the Risk Factors of Intraventricular Hemorrhage?

The risk factors of Intraventricular hemorrhage include:

  • Premature birth.

  • Rapid volume expansion.

  • Hypertension.

  • Coagulopathies.

  • Hypoxic ischemic insults.

  • Respiratory disturbances.

  • Acidosis.

  • Anemia.

  • Infusion of hypertonic solutions.

  • Vacuum-assisted delivery.

  • Frequent handling.

  • Tracheal suctioning.

What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Intraventricular Hemorrhage?

Symptoms may vary from child to child. Few may be asymptomatic, and others may complain of the following:

  • Apnea or difficulty in breathing.

  • Reduced muscle tone.

  • Reduced reflexes.

  • Excessive sleep.

  • Lethargy.

  • Weakness sucks.

  • Poor feeding.

  • Anemia.

  • Bulged fontanelles.

  • Seizures.

  • High-pitched cry.

  • Bradycardia.

  • Cutaneous mottling.

  • Absent Moro's reflex.

  • Changes in muscle tone or level of consciousness.

  • A sudden drop in hematocrit.

A large intracranial hemorrhage can lead to:

  • Rapid onset of coma.

  • Seizures.

  • Decerebrate posturing.

  • Pupils fixed to light.

  • Respiratory irregularities.

What Is the Grading of Intraventricular Hemorrhage?

The grading includes:

  • Grade 1: Isolated germinal matrix hemorrhage restricted to the subependymal region.

  • Grade 2: Intraventricular hemorrhage without ventricular dilatation or extension into the normal-sized ventricles. Fills less than half of the ventricles.

  • Grade 3: Intraventricular hemorrhage with ventricular dilatation or extension into the dilated ventricles.

  • Grade 4: Intraventricular hemorrhage with parenchymal extension. Blood clots can form and block the flow of cerebrospinal fluid, leading to hydrocephalus.

Grades 1 and 2 are more common and may occur without any associated complications compared to grades 3 and 4. However, grades 3 and 4 are more serious and may turn out to be long-term injuries to the brain.

What Are the Lab Investigations to Be Carried Out?

The clinical signs and symptoms of intraventricular hemorrhage are non-specific and may resemble other medical conditions. Therefore, a cranial ultrasound should always be done in a premature infant or less than thirty-two weeks of gestation. Infants less than a thousand grams are at higher risk and should undergo cranial ultrasonography within the first three to seven days of birth.

The lab investigations to be carried out are:

  • Cranial Ultrasound is specifically used to diagnose intravascular hemorrhage. It uses sound waves to detect any abnormalities with internal structures. The amount of bleeding can also be graded.

  • Computed Tomography (CT) Scan of the Head: It is always recommended if an infant shows symptoms of bleeding problems, low blood count, and difficult birth.

What Are the Management of Intraventricular Hemorrhage?

No specific treatment protocol is available for intraventricular hemorrhage. It may be associated with other complications that may require treatment.

  • Seizures should be treated aggressively with anticonvulsant drugs.

  • Anemia and coagulopathies require transfusion with packed red blood cells or fresh frozen plasma.

  • Shock and acidosis should be treated with fluid resuscitation and administration of sodium bicarbonate.

  • Infants with severe intraventricular hemorrhage may develop hydrocephalus, which is usually managed by draining the fluid from the brain. A ventriculoperitoneal (VP) shunt is usually placed to do so. It is a thin tube that helps drain extra cerebrospinal fluid from the brain and thus prevents the building up of pressure within the brain.

  • Serial lumbar punctures, ventricular taps or reservoirs, and externalized ventricular drains are often used as potential temporary interventions.

The prognosis of the disease depends upon how premature the baby is and the hemorrhage grade. Most infants with a lower grade of hemorrhage have a better prognosis. A severe hemorrhage grade may lead to developmental delays and problems controlling movement. There are high chances of death in infants with severe bleeding.

What Are the Prevention Strategies for Intraventricular Hemorrhage?

Prenatal prevention strategies include:

  • Avoidance of premature deliveries.

  • Transportation in utero.

  • Antenatal steroid therapy who are at risk of early delivery.

  • Antenatal vitamin K therapy who are at an increased risk of bleeding.

Postnatal prevention strategies include:

  • Avoidance of birth asphyxia.

  • Correction of acid-base abnormalities.

  • Correction of coagulopathies.

  • Avoidance of blood pressure fluctuations.

  • Avoidance of rapid infusions of volume expanders or hypertonic solutions.

  • Synchronized mechanical ventilation.


Intraventricular hemorrhage developing within seventy-two hours of birth may lead to an early intraventricular hemorrhage. The more premature an infant is the more risk of developing intraventricular hemorrhage. No specific treatment protocol is available for intraventricular hemorrhage. However, symptomatic treatment may be provided with anticonvulsant drugs, red blood cell transfusion, fluid resuscitation, and even a ventriculoperitoneal shunt can be beneficial. Infants with a lower grade of hemorrhage have a better prognosis.

Frequently Asked Questions


What Is the Cause of Intraventricular Haemorrhage?

Although the exact cause of intraventricular hemorrhage (IVH) is unknown, it may be brought on by a lack of oxygen to the brain, a difficult or traumatizing birth, or postpartum complications. Draining can happen because veins in a premature child's mind are incredibly delicate and effectively crack.


Is Intraventricular Discharge Dangerous?

IVH can result in mortality and morbidity even on its own. First, intraventricular blood can cause a clot in the CSF conduits to block its flow, resulting in obstructive hydrocephalus, which can quickly cause elevated intracranial pressure and death.


Is a Stroke Caused by an Intraventricular Haemorrhage?

A fatal stroke is a brain hemorrhage with the highest morbidity of any stroke subtype. With a mortality rate between 50 percent and 80 percent, an intraventricular extension of hemorrhage (IVH) is a feeble prognostic sign.


How Can Intraventricular Haemorrhage Be Treated?

There is no specific treatment for IVH; the only thing that can assist in treating any other health issues that may exacerbate the condition. Furthermore, tiny babies might require steady consideration, like oxygen and fluids. Occasionally, the child may anticipate a medical procedure to resolve their situation.


Is Intraventricular Haemorrhage Treatable?

There is no ongoing treatment to stop the hemorrhage. The medical team will treat symptoms as necessary and keep the infant as stable as possible. A blood transfusion, for instance, may be given to raise blood pressure and blood count.


What Is Grade 4 Intraventricular Haemorrhage?

An intraparenchymal hemorrhage of grade 4 is another name. Cerebrospinal fluid can become obstructed by blood clots. Hydrocephalus, or an increase in brain fluid, may result from this.


What Are the Side Effects of Intraventricular Haemorrhage?

Moderate-serious intraventricular bleeding can cause posthemorrhagic hydrocephalus, cerebral paralysis, and mental hindrance. Developmental disorders can arise from even the smallest germinal matrix-intraventricular hemorrhage.


Is It Possible To Fully Recover From Intraventricular Haemorrhage?

The pressure that blood puts on otherwise healthy brain cells as it fills the ventricles has the potential to cause brain damage that lasts for a long time or is permanent. A few youngsters (infants) completely recover from neonatal intraventricular bleeding. However, not all babies will survive if the brain damage is severe.


In Case of Intraventricular Discharge, What Should be the BP Target?

The ideal objective pulse is unsure; however, a systolic BP of 140 to 160 mmHg is a sensible target. The specific target may vary depending on the presence of other cardiovascular risk factors and comorbidities.


What Is the Best Medication for Intraventricular Discharge?

There is no ongoing treatment to stop the hemorrhage. The medical team will treat symptoms as necessary and keep the infant as stable as possible. A blood transfusion, for instance, may be given to raise blood pressure and blood count.


How Can Intraventricular Haemorrhage Be Prevented?

Pregnant ladies with a high chance of delivering early might be given corticosteroids to decrease the child's gamble for IVH. Vitamin K should be given to pregnant women taking medications that reduce their risk of bleeding before giving birth.


What Are the Impacts of Intraventricular Haemorrhage?

In neonatal intensive care units, extremely preterm infants typically present with IVH within the first three days of life. As these babies recuperate and age, they frequently experience the ill effects of neurologic sequelae, including hydrocephalus, cerebral paralysis (CP), and mental deficiencies.


Is Intraventricular Discharge Hereditary?

Intraventricular discharge, also known as premature ventricular contractions (PVCs), refers to abnormal electrical signals originating in the ventricles of the heart, causing premature heartbeats. Intraventricular discharge (IVH) of the preterm youngster is a complex disorder of mind with commitments from both the climate and the genome.


What Increments the Risk for the Intraventricular Drain?

Hemorrhage, misplacement, dislodgement, blockage, and infection are all common after an EVD is inserted. Ventriculitis, meningitis, a brain abscess, or subdural empyema can also cause complications. Morbidity and mortality are up, as is the length of stay in the hospital.
Dr. Abhishek Juneja
Dr. Abhishek Juneja



intraventricular hemorrhage
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