The neurologic findings in nine infants who were exposed to maternal trauma during pregnancy are reported from the University Hospital Essen, Hufelandstr, Germany. Motor-vehicle accidents occurred in 7 and blunt abdominal trauma in 2. One infant required resuscitation and one premature needed assisted ventilation. Movement disorders occurred in 3, hemiparesis in 2, convulsions (1), and 3 were normal. Neuroimaging showed periventricular leukomalacia in 2, localized vascular infarction in 2, hemorrhage (1), hydrocephalus (2), and diffuse brain damage (1). The relation of the cerebral damage to the maternal trauma was certain in one child and probable in the remainder. [1]

COMMENT. Maternal trauma during pregnancy may result in fetal cerebral damage that manifests with neurologic symptoms in surviving infants. Mothers should be examined carefully for signs of premature labor after trauma, and the newborn infant monitored for neurologic damage. Maternal acidosis is found to correlate with severity of fetal damage and mortality.