Intraventricular Hemorrhage in Premature Infants: A Historical Review

Jennifer Deger, Eric A. Goethe, Melissa A. LoPresti, Sandi Lam*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Intraventricular hemorrhage (IVH) is common in premature newborns and poses a high risk for morbidity with lifelong disability. We searched the available literature for original and secondary literature regarding the epidemiology, pathogenesis, and treatment of IVH in order to trace changes in the management of this disease over time. We examined IVH pathogenesis and epidemiology and reviewed the history of medical and surgical treatment for intraventricular hemorrhage in preterm children. Initial medical management strategies aimed at correcting coagulopathy and eventually targeted mediators of perinatal instability including respiratory distress. Surgical management centered around cerebrospinal fluid diversion, initially through serial lumbar punctures, progressing to ventriculoperitoneal shunting, with more recent interventions addressing intraventricular clot burden. We provide a historical review of the evolution of treatment for IVH in newborns. While the management of IVH has grown significantly over time, IVH remains a common neurosurgical disease that continues to affect patient and caregiver quality of life and health care costs. Despite advances in treatment over more than a century, IVH remains a significant cause of morbidity and mortality in premature infants, and an understanding of past approaches may inform the development of new treatments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)21-25
Number of pages5
JournalWorld neurosurgery
StatePublished - Sep 2021


  • Endoscopic third ventriculostomy
  • Hydrocephalus
  • Neonatal intraventricular hemorrhage
  • Ventriculoperitoneal shunt

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology


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