Background: Germinal matrix hemorrhage is a leading cause of mortality and morbidity
from prematurity. This brain region is vulnerable to bleeding and re-bleeding within the first 72 hours
of preterm life. Cerebroventricular expansion of blood products contributes to the mechanisms of
brain injury. Consequences include lifelong hydrocephalus, cerebral palsy, and intellectual disability.
Unfortunately little is known about the therapeutic needs of this patient population.
Objectives: This review discusses the mechanisms of germinal matrix hemorrhage, the animal models
utilized, and the potential therapeutic targets.
Conclusion: Potential therapeutic approaches identified in pre-clinical investigations include corticosteroid
therapy, iron chelator administration, and transforming growth factor-β pathway modulation,
which all warrant further investigation. Thus, effective preclinical modeling is essential for elucidating
and evaluating novel therapeutic approaches, ahead of clinical consideration.