Early-onset group B streptococcal sepsis frequently produces shock in preterm infants, a condition also felt to be contributory to the development of periventricular leukomalacia. During a 2-year study period, 628 preterm infants who were admitted to the neonatal intensive care unit underwent serial sonographic brain scanning; periventricular leukomalacia was diagnosed in eight infants (1.2%). The four infants (100%) who survived group B streptococcal sepsis with septic shock developed periventricular leukomalacia, whereas none of the four survivors (0%) of septic shock caused by other organisms and three of 27 survivors (11%) of shock not caused by infection developed periventricular leukomalacia. Because of the frequency of this lesion, it is suggested that all preterm survivors of group B streptococcal sepsis with septic shock should have serial sonography screening for detection of periventricular leukomalacia. Early detection will not assure cure but may facilitate prognostication, follow-up, and earlier institution of rehabilitative therapy to produce a better outcome.
- Accepted December 3, 1984.
- Copyright © 1985 by the American Academy of Pediatrics