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
EBSCO Information Services is fully accredited by URAC. URAC is an independent, nonprofit health care accrediting organization dedicated to promoting health care quality through accreditation, certification and commendation.
This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.
To send comments or feedback to our Editorial Team regarding the content please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Our Health Library Support team will respond to your email request within 2 business days.