The ventricular CSF of a group of preterm infants dying in the newborn period contained a large excess of protein which appeared to be a plasma filtrate. This excess was found whether or not an intraventricular haemorrhage (IVH) was also present. After consideration of the clinical features of the infants, their coagulation status, and the findings at necropsy, we suggest that increased cerebral venous and capillary pressure, usually caused by heart failure resulting from hypoxia and acidosis, was responsible both for the IVH, by rupturing the terminal veins, and for promoting the filtration of plasma proteins into the CSF. Abnormalities of haemostasis, though very common, did not seem to provide an adequate explanation for the initiation of intraventricular bleeding, though they may have exacerbated it.
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