Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy
(Cerebral Hypoxia; HIE)
Pronounced: hye-POK-sik is-KEM-ik en-sef-a-lo-path-ee
by Cynthia M. Johnson, MA
Hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy (HIE) is a brain injury. It happens when the brain does not get enough oxygen.
HIE can cause death. Brain cells start to die after 4 minutes without oxygen.
Many health problems can a lack of oxygen to the brain. Some common causes are:
Any injury or health problem that causes the brain to have a drop in blood flow and oxygen is a risk factor for HIE.
You may have:
A physical exam will be done. A health history is the biggest factor in making the diagnosis.
Blood tests may be done.
Pictures may need to be taken of your body. This can be done with:
Your heart and brain may be tested. This can be done with:
Treatment depends on the cause of HIE. It also depends on how severe the damage is to the brain.
You may have:
HIE can’t be prevented.
Brain Injury Association of America
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke
Ontario Brain Injury Association
Hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy (HIE). Neurographics website. Available at:
...(Click grey area to select URL)
Accessed June 22, 2018.
Itoo BA, Al-Hawsawi ZM, Khan AH. Hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy. Incidence and risk factors in North Western Saudi Arabia. Saudi Med J. 2003;24(2):147-153.
MacDonald S. Brain injury secondary to carotid intervention. J Endovasc Ther. 2007;14(2):219-231.
Last reviewed May 2018 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Rimas Lukas, MD
Last Updated: 6/22/2018
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