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Cerebellar Hemorrhage in Extremely Low Birth Weight Infants: Incidence, Risk Factors, and Impact on Long-Term Outcomes

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Improvements in neuroimaging technology and techniques have contributed to the increased recognition of cerebellar hemorrhage (CBH) in the preterm infant. Studies have indicated that the extremely low birth weight (ELBW) infant (<1,000 g) is at highest risk for this injury. Associated risk factors include a constellation of antenatal, intrapartum, and neonatal factors, with immaturity, fetal distress, and cardiorespiratory instability in the early neonatal course as significant contributors. The long-term impact of CBH for the ELBW infant is not fully understood, but recent reports suggest that, in addition to motor impairments, deficits in cognitive, language, and social-behavioral function are also apparent. This article reviews the current state of knowledge of cerebellar development, risk factors for injury, and long-term developmental consequences of injury. Implications for nursing practice, education, and research are discussed.

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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: November 1, 2008

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