Published online by Cambridge University Press: 10 November 2010
Great strides have been taken in the relatively new specialty of neonatal–perinatal Medicine. The evidence upon which neonatal–perinatal medicine is practiced has expanded considerably and the rationale for many interventions is now supported by scientific data. Application of the biochemical and technologic advances to obstetrics and neonatology has improved the immediate and long-term outlook for the majority of neonates. Inspection of the major causes of neonatal mortality reveals that birth defects now head the list and there has been a sharp decline in death from respiratory disorders and immaturity. However, injury to the central nervous system continues to be a major concern. After an apparently normal pregnancy only a brief period of oxygen deprivation or exposure to other noxious stimuli may cause devastating and permanent injury to the central nervous system. Haldane is attributed to have said that “Hypoxia not only stops the motor, but also destroys the machinery.” Hypoxia can definitely destroy the developing brain. This edition of Fetal and Neonatal Brain Injury is very timely and not only provides comprehensive coverage of the emerging issues and clinical trials in progress but also provides state-of-the-art deliberations on neuroimaging in addition to the infectious and metabolic encephalopathies.
Stevenson, Benitz, and Sunshine have assembled an outstanding group of contributors to tackle comprehensively the accumulating evidence on fetal and neonatal brain injury.