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Revista Cubana de Pediatría

Print version ISSN 0034-7531On-line version ISSN 1561-3119


ROBAINA CASTELLANOS, Gerardo Rogelio  and  RIESGO RODRIGUEZ, Solangel de la Caridad. Encephalopathy of prematurity, a developing nosological entity. Rev Cubana Pediatr [online]. 2015, vol.87, n.2, pp.224-240. ISSN 0034-7531.

Some terms such as periventricular leukomalacia (PVL), white matter damage (WMD) and encephalopathy of prematurity are used as synonyms; however, they are not exactly the same. This review was aimed at substantiating the consistency of the term encephalopathy of prematurity, on the basis of its physiopathology, diagnosis and prognosis. Periventricular leukomalacia has two main components, one macroscopic cystic and the other microscopic one which can be focal or diffuse. The white matter damage is the most common neuropathological feature of cerebral palsy in preterm infants, which identifies any anomalies in the white matter. In turn, encephalopathy of prematurity is a much more comprehensive term because it seems that both primary destructive disorders and those related to brain development are influential in its origin. Its physiopathology has been explained by two theoretical models: the infective-inflammatory one and the hemodynamic one. Neuroimaginological and neurodevelopmental evaluations are necessary for the diagnosis, where the presence of cerebral palsy and of intellectual development disorders, either isolated or combined, is detected. It is much likely that encephalopathy of prematurity tends to increasingly consolidate as an independent nosological entity, taking into account its medical and social implications.

Keywords : newborn infant; preterm infant; periventricular leukomalacia; encephalopaties; diagnosis; physiopathology.

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