How do motor function findings vary in hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE) based on location of lesions?

Updated: Jul 18, 2018
  • Author: Santina A Zanelli, MD; Chief Editor: Dharmendra J Nimavat, MD, FAAP  more...
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Motor examination of a newborn with large unilateral lesions may reveal mild hemiparesis and seizures in as many as 80%. The seizures are often partial (focal) and contralateral to the cortical lesion. Neonates with severe bilateral infarcts may have quadriparesis. Moro and tonic neck reflexes do not habituate, reflecting the lack of cortical modulation, which attenuates the response after repeated trials or sustained stimulus. Newborns with diencephalic lesions cannot regulate their temperature and have problems with sleep-wake cycles. The long-term sequelae of focal or multifocal cerebral necrosis include spastic hemiparesis and quadriparesis (eg, bilateral hemiparesis), cognitive deficits, and seizures.

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