Objectives: Determine the prevalence of intraventricular hemorrhage in infants with moderate to severe congenital heart disease, investigate the impact of gestational age, cardiac diagnosis, and cardiac intervention on intraventricular hemorrhage, and compare intraventricular hemorrhage rates in preterm infants with and without congenital heart disease. Design: A single-center retrospective review. Setting: A tertiary care children's hospital. Patients: All infants admitted to St. Louis Children's Hospital from 2007 to 2012 with moderate to severe congenital heart disease requiring cardiac intervention in the first 90 days of life and all preterm infants without congenital heart disease or congenital anomalies/known genetic diagnoses admitted during the same time period. Interventions: None. Measurements and Main Results: Cranial ultrasound data were reviewed for presence/severity of intraventricular hemorrhage. Head CT and brain MRI data were also reviewed in the congenital heart disease infants. Univariate analyses were undertaken to determine associations with intraventricular hemorrhage, and a final multivariate logistic regression model was performed. There were 339 infants with congenital heart disease who met inclusion criteria and 25.4% were born preterm. Intraventricular hemorrhage was identified on cranial ultrasound in 13.3% of infants, with the majority of intraventricular hemorrhage being low-grade (grade I/II). The incidence increased as gestational age decreased such that intraventricular hemorrhage was present in 8.7% of term infants, 19.2% of late preterm infants, 26.3% of moderately preterm infants, and 53.3% of very preterm infants. There was no difference in intraventricular hemorrhage rates between cardiac diagnoses. Additionally, the rate of intraventricular hemorrhage did not increase after cardiac intervention, with only three infants demonstrating new/worsening high-grade (grade III/IV) intraventricular hemorrhage after surgery. In a multivariate model, only gestational age at birth and African-American race were predictors of intraventricular hemorrhage. In the subset of infants with CT/MRI data, there was good sensitivity and specificity of cranial ultrasound for presence of intraventricular hemorrhage. Conclusions: Infants with congenital heart disease commonly develop intraventricular hemorrhage, particularly when born preterm. However, the vast majority of intraventricular hemorrhage is low-grade and is associated with gestational age and African-American race.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)56-63
Number of pages8
JournalPediatric Critical Care Medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2018


  • brain imaging
  • cardiac surgery
  • cerebral hemorrhage
  • congenital
  • heart defects
  • infant
  • newborn


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