Neuropathology of the near-term and midgestation ovine fetal brain after sustained in utero hypoxemia

Donald H. Penning, Marjorie R. Grafe, Robert Hammond, Yoshio Matsuda, John Patrick, Bryan Richardson

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62 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE: The neuropathologic mechanisms of the ovine fetal brain in response to several hours of sustained hypoxemia with variable degrees of metabolic acidemia was investigated in both the preterm and near-term ovine fetus. STUDY DESIGN: Three groups of fetuses were studied in each of the near-term and midgestation groups: a hypoxic group, a control group, and an uninstrumented control group. Histopathologic studies were performed after a 40-hour recovery period after experimentation. RESULTS: Pathologic findings consisted of predominately white matter damage with some adjacent cortical necrosis but no selective neuronal injury. In the near-term group the hypoxia group fetuses demonstrated significantly higher white matter injury scores than did control group fetuses (p < 0.05). Periventricular white matter injury was the predominant pattern seen in the midgestation group. CONCLUSIONS: In spite of normalization of biophysical and biochemical parameters after hypoxemia both midgestation and near-term fetuses sustained pathologic changes. Presence or extent of injury did not correlate with the degree of hypoxemia or metabolic acidosis achieved. (AM J OBSTET GYNECOL 1994;170:1425-32.)

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1425-1432
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican journal of obstetrics and gynecology
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1994


  • Cerebral palsy
  • hypoxia
  • ovine fetus
  • periventricular leukomalacia, development

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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