What are the physical findings characteristic of moderately severe hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE)?

Updated: Jul 18, 2018
  • Author: Santina A Zanelli, MD; Chief Editor: Dharmendra J Nimavat, MD, FAAP  more...
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The infant is lethargic, with significant hypotonia and diminished deep tendon reflexes.

The grasping, Moro, and sucking reflexes may be sluggish or absent.

The infant may experience occasional periods of apnea.

Seizures typically occur early within the first 24 hours after birth.

Full recovery within 1-2 weeks is possible and is associated with a better long-term outcome.

An initial period of well-being or mild hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy may be followed by sudden deterioration, suggesting ongoing brain cell dysfunction, injury, and death; during this period, seizure intensity might increase.

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