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Intraventricular Hemorrhage (Pediatric)

What is intraventricular hemorrhage (IVH)?

IVH is caused by bleeding within and around the ventricles of the brain. The chambers are normally filled with cerebrospinal fluid.

IVH is more common in premature babies and the more premature, the higher the risk for developing this condition. 

This condition is divided into different grades, ranging from 1 to 4. (Grade 1 is mild and grade 4 is most severe.)

What are the symptoms of IVH?

In most cases, the IVH does not produce any symptoms and is confined to a small bleed only detectable by ultrasound.

How is IVH diagnosed?

Premature babies are evaluated for IVH by a series of head ultrasounds performed at different times during the first month of life.

How is IVH treated?

Often the bleeding gradually stops and the blood vessels heal themselves without treatment.

Severe cases can lead to a condition called hydrocephalus, and interfere with the flow of cerebrospinal fluid. A shunt may then be placed to drain this fluid and relieve any pressure on the brain.