Cystic Encephalomalacia

Cystic encephalomalacia and multicystic encephalopathy are almost always associated with severe perinatal hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy (HIE)

In many mature infants, HIE is caused by events that occur during labor and delivery.  In some cases, the cause of HIE is obvious, e.g., placental abruption, umbilical cord accident, or presumed cardiovascular distress due to a difficult delivery.  Where a healthcare provider fails to timely respond to signs of hypoxia or ischemia, and HIE occurrs, the HIE may be the result of medical negligence.

HIE is a very serious condition with profound side-effects.  In mild cases, HIE can be associated with learning disabilities and slow development.  In moderate to severe cases, HIE can be associated with:
  • brain damage;
  • mental retardation;
  • epilepsy;
  • craniosyntosis;
  • cortico-visual impairment; and
  • cerebral palsy.
Cystic encephalomalacia and multicystic encephalopathy are the result of inadequate oxygen to the fetal brain.  They are diagnosed by:
  • MRI,
  • CT scan, or
  • cranial ultrasound.
MRI typically reveals two main patters of brain damage in neonates.  Moderate ischemia tends to cause cortical damage near the brain's border zones, such as the parasaggital band of cortex that arches from the frontal to the occipital lobe.  Severe ischemia damages deeper parts of the brain, such as the deep nuclei and the brainstem.

In mature infants, severe perinatal hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy (HIE) can cause part of the brain's white matter to die and, essentially melt away.  When this happens, there is severe brain atrophy.  In other instances, where severe perinatal HIE destroys the cortex and white matter, fluid filled sacks or cysts form in the cavities previously occupied by brain matter.

The trial lawyers at Bottar Leone, PLLC, have decades of experience investigating, prosecuting and trying to verdict medical malpractice and birth injury cases.  If you or your baby have been injured due to medical malpractice, you, your child and your family may be entitled to compensation for lifelong health care, medical expenses, special education, medical bills, loss of income, and pain and suffering. 

To discuss your case or concerns with an experienced New York medical malpractice and birth injury attorney, contact us now at (315) 422-3466, (800) 336-LAWS, or by e-mail at info@bottarleone.com.