Causes of Brain Bleeds

Peer reviewed research shows that up to 26% of all newborns born vaginally have some degree of brain bleeding including subdural, subarachnoid, intraventricular, and parenchymal hemorrhages.  Radiological evidence of birth-related bleeds can persist for years. 

Besides birth, there are many other factors that can cause brain bleeds or mimic the radiological appearance of brain bleeds:

  • Intrauterine Trauma (including abruption placenta)
  • Thrombocytopenia
  • Eclampsia and Preeclampsia
  • Chorioamnionitis
  • Multiple Pregnancies
  • Hyemolytic Disease of the Newborn
  • Prematurity
  • Germinal Matrix Hemorrhage
  • Abnormal Birth Presentation and Uterine Abnormalities
  • Prolonged Labor
  • Forceps Delivery
  • Vacuum Extraction
  • Manual Manipulation of the Fetus
  • Chemically Assisted Labor (pitocin drips, misoprostol)
  • Chiari Malformations
  • Arteriovenous Malformations
  • Aneurysm
  • Osler-Weber Syndrome
  • Arachnoidal cyst
  • Hydrocephalus (including extra-axial fluid collections)
  • Meningocele
  • Syringomyelia
  • Benign Enlargement of the Subarachnoid Spaces
  • Macrocephaly
  • Venous and Sinus Thrombosis
  • Blood Coagulation Defects
  • Leukemia
  • Nephrotic Syndrome
  • Local infection
  • Dehydration
  • Hypo/Hypernatremia
  • Accidental Injury Induced Central Venous Thrombosis
  • Hemoglobinopathies, Sickle Cell Disease
  • Osteogenesis imperfect
  • Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome
  • Von Recklinghausen’s Disease
  • Tuberous Sclerosis
  • Marfan Syndrome
  • Menkes Disease
  • Polycystic Kidney Disease
  • Glutaric Aciduria
  • Galactosemia
  • Homocystinuria
  • Alpha 1-Antitrypsin Deficiency
  • Hemophagocytic Lymphohistiocytosis, Primary or Secondary
  • Vitamin D Deficiency During Pregnancy
  • Vitamin K Deficiency
  • Vitamin C Deficiency
  • Hemophilia A or B
  • Factor V Deficiency
  • Factor XII Deficiency
  • Factor XIII Deficiency
  • Protein S Deficiency
  • Protein C Deficiency
  • Von Willebrand Disease
  • Dysfibrinogenemia or Hypofibrinogenemia
  • Thrombocytopnic Purpura
  • Disseminated Intravascular Coagulation (especially with infection or neoplasm)
  • Cirrhosis
  • Lupus Erthematosus
  • Antiphospholipid Antibody Syndrome
  • Streptococcus Penumoniae
  • Haemophilus Influenza
  • Neisseria Meningitidis
  • Herpes Encephalitis
  • Cytomegalovirus Encephalitis
  • Infections in Sinuses and/or Ears
  • Tonsillitis
  • Toxoplasmosis
  • Moyamoya Disease
  • Kawasaki Disease
  • Dissecting Vasculopathy
  • Medulloblastoma and Primitive Neuroectodermal Tumor
  • Neuroblastoma
  • Wilms Tumor
  • Leukemia
  • Choroid Plexus Papilloma
  • Xanthogranuloma
  • Resuscitation
  • Anticoagulation (eg Heparin)
  • Craniotomy
  • Spinal Tap
  • Spinal Anesthesia
  • Epidural Anesthesia
  • Subdural Taps
  • Intrathecal Injection
  • Shunts for Hydrocephalus
  • Placement of Monitors
  • Intravenous lines
  • Antineoplastic Therapy
  • Anti-Cold Medications
  • Cocaine Exposure
  • Lead Exposure
  • Hypertension
  • External Hydrocephalus
  • Ischemic-Hypoxic Encephalopathy
  • Accidental Whiplash
  • Accidental Short Falls