Antepartum events have been associated with fetal brain injury and may contribute to later neurological sequelae. However, children with these injuries may be asymptomatic or exhibit few clinical signs during the neonatal period. Six neonates are presented with destructive brain lesions of fetal onset based on radiological and neurophysiological studies at birth. No intrapartum difficulties were noted in any of the cases. Two maternal histories were significant for either placental bleeding or toxemia during the second or third trimesters of pregnancy. Fetal porencephaly from presumed intraventricular hemorrhage was documented by serial abdominal sonography for these two children. No causes could be assigned for the remaining four patients with destructive brain lesions. All six children had normal results on neurological examinations at birth, although four neonates later presented with isolated seizures at 8 to 30 hours of life which resolved after administration of anti-epileptic medication. In all cases initial neonatal electroencephalographic records showed abnormalities consisting of major background asymmetries or seizures. Initial documentation of cerebral lesions was made by fetal sonography (two patients) and computed tomography scan (four patients) during the initial 30 hours of life, timing the lesions to the antepartum period. Cerebral palsy has been documented in all children; one child had resolution of her deficits by 6 months of age. Better surveillance of events during the antepartum period may help identify specific pathophysiological conditions that contribute to cerebral palsy. Neurophysiological and imaging studies should be used during the immediate newborn period for neonates believed to have cerebral lesions based on maternal sonography or isolated seizures.

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