Cranial birth injuries in term newborn infants

John Pollina, Mark S. Dias, Veetai Li, Diana Kachurek, Marian Arbesman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

65 Scopus citations


While cranial birth injuries in term infants are well recognized, to date, only small case series have been described. In an attempt to further define the spectrum of cranial birth injuries, we analyzed 41 consecutive cranial birth injuries at our institution over the period 1991-1998. The most common clinical presentations were apnea (39%) and seizures (37%). Average Apgar scores were 5.7 at 1 min and 7.3 at 5 min; 54% of infants had abnormally low Apgar scores at 1 min and 31% had abnormally low scores at 5 min. The most common intracranial lesion was subdural hemorrhage, present in 73% of infants; most had either a tentorial (57%) and/or interhemispheric (50%) location. Operative treatment was required in 5 infants (12%). Two of the 41 infants (4.8%) died. The study group was compared with a control group of 63 randomly selected births without cranial injury. Using a stepwise logistic regression model, independently significant variables included neonatal birth weight, Apgar scores at 1 and 5 min and mode of delivery. Compared with the controls, the study group had a significantly higher incidence of forceps and/or vacuum deliveries. Combining vacuum, forceps and urgent cesarean section deliveries together as 'urgent' and elective cesarean and spontaneous vaginal deliveries as 'nonurgent', we could find no significant differences between these two groups. Our data conflict with those of Towner et al. [N Engl J Med 1999;341:1709-1714], and suggest that the method of assisted delivery, rather than the urgency of the delivery or dysfunctional labor per se, is a more important variable in cranial birth injuries.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)113-119
Number of pages7
JournalPediatric Neurosurgery
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2001

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology


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