PEP diagnosis in infants


  1. Causes
  2. Symptoms
  3. Treatment
  4. Conclusion

The diagnosis of PEP is diagnosed in newborns quite often. Deciphering abbreviations – perinatal encephalopathy – sounds intimidating, but requires clarification. What is behind it with a diagnosis of what to expect from a PEP, how and what to treat – and it will be discussed in this article.

PEP or perinatal encephalopathy – in translation from Greek means “brain disease.” Doesn’t sound very good life-affirming, but if you properly understand this diagnosis, it becomes clear – not everything is so scary.

Congenital or perinatal encephalopathy is diagnosed. almost half of babies. The presence of such a diagnosis means that during fetal development, during childbirth or during the first 8 days of life on the baby’s nervous system some adverse factors acted, which led to brain pathologies. Depending on the specific the following types of perinatal are distinguished encephalopathy:

  • Hypoxic – due to oxygen starvation;
  • Bilirubin – high levels of bilirubin in the blood may lead to pathologies in the development of the nervous system;
  • Ischemic – caused by circulatory disorders in the head the brain;
  • Alcohol – due to alcohol poisoning or maternal drugs during pregnancy;
  • Diabetic – damage to the baby’s health is caused by diabetes his mother.

Without specifying, the diagnosis of PEP is collective and doctors tend to imply some pathology in the work of the head child’s brain. Often pediatricians are reinsured with this diagnosis, if the child has certain transient symptoms of the disorder nervous system. This explains so many diagnosed perinatal encephalopathy in infants.

With in-depth diagnosis and compliance with all rules clinical examination, the diagnosis of PEP can be made only 1.5-4% babies. This does not mean that if such a diagnosis has a place to be – everything should be left to chance.

Increased attention from parents and doctors should be required. But the purpose of the drug treatment only on the basis of a single examination and complaints of parents to poor sleep, regurgitation and restless behavior are wrong.

To confirm perinatal encephalopathy, clarify it type, prescribing a course of drugs is required consultation of a competent pediatric neurologist, conducting a series of diagnostic procedures (neurosonography, EEG).


PEP diagnosis in infantsThe causes of PEP are most often:

  • Toxin poisoning and maternal metabolic disease during pregnancy
  • Fetal head injuries during childbirth or immediately after them.

The risk of diagnosing PEP in infants is much higher if:

  • The mother of the child is a minor or has crossed a 30-year-old milestone;
  • The mother had an unfavorable gynecological condition before pregnancy medical history (frequent miscarriages, infertility, abortions);
  • Expectant mother was sick while carrying a child infectious diseases or chronic diseases of the heart, kidneys, endocrine glands;
  • Pregnancy was unfavorable: with the threat of miscarriage, rhesus conflict, late toxicosis, in chronic conditions stress and an unhealthy lifestyle;
  • The birth was difficult: it took an emergency intervention, forceps or a vacuum extractor were applied, was diagnosed with a long anhydrous period or labor weakness activities;
  • During childbirth was entwined with an umbilical cord, swallowed meconium or amniotic fluid, received a birth injury;
  • In the first week of his life, the newborn suffered an infectious a disease, surgery, or he had congenital malformations diagnosed.


There are 3 degrees of perinatal encephalopathy in depending on the severity of symptoms:

  • 1 degree – the child is sluggish, his muscle tone is impaired and reflexes, then he appears signs of overexcitation and anxiety, handles, chin may tremble.
  • 2 degree – the central nervous system is depressed state all the time, there is a decrease in muscle tone and congenital reflexes are broken. Indigestion and stool, convulsive muscle twitching.
  • Grade 3 – the most difficult: in addition to persistent, enduring disorders of the central nervous system, the child has convulsions and disturbances in the functioning of the heart, respiratory and digestive system.

Competent treatment and rehabilitation of mild PEP leads to complete recovery during the first year of life. In heavy cases and with unqualified treatment of PEP can lead to such consequences as:

  • Delay in speech, mental or psychomotor development;
  • The development of minimal brain dysfunction, which in its the turn can manifest itself through hyperactivity, neurosis-like violations, etc .;
  • Gross damage to the nervous system (cerebral palsy, mental retardation, epileptic and hydrocephalic syndromes).


Parents do not have to panic in this case: the nervous system the baby is very plastic and easy to recover. It will require effort and time, but the result can be amazing.

Relying entirely on drug treatment is not worth it. With a serious degree of illness medicines are needed, but along with them a huge matter:

  • Physiotherapy;
  • Osteopathy and manual therapy;
  • Therapeutic gymnastics and hydrotherapy;
  • Alternative treatment methods (acupuncture, herbal medicine, hippotherapy, etc.);
  • A variety of developmental activities using elements sensotherapy, music therapy, speech therapy.

What is the norm of intracranial pressure in infants.

What to do if a big bump appears on the child’s forehead.

Read an article on whether trembling is dangerous for a newborn chin.


The most important treatment when diagnosed with PEP in babies, and recovery from illness is and remains love parents to their child and faith in his inexhaustible opportunities.

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