Cerebral palsy: MR findings in 40 patients

C. L. Truwit, A. J. Barkovich, T. K. Koch, D. M. Ferriero

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

195 Scopus citations


Purpose: We have MR to retrospectively analyze the brains of patients suffering from cerebral palsy, our aim being to determine MR's role in the assessment of brain damage and the relationship of pre-, peri-, and post-natal events to cerebral palsy. Methods: Forty patients (aged 1 month to 41 years) underwent MR scanning and findings were correlated with clinical histories in all cases. Results: Review of MR scans of 11 patients who had been born prematurely revealed findings of periventricular white matter damage, indicative of hypoxic-ischemic brain injury (82%), the chronology of which was difficult to determine. Among 29 patients who had been born at term, three major patterns emerged: (1), gyral anomalies, suggestive of polymicrogyria, consistent with mid-second trimester injury; (2), isolated periventricular leukomalacia reflecting late second- or early third-trimester injury; and (3), watershed cortical or deep gray nuclear damage, consistent with late third-trimester, perinatal or postnatal injury. In 16 (55%) of 29 patients born at term, MR findings of intrauterine brain damage were observed; in over half of these cases MR revealed developmental anomalies, which is nearly twice the rate reported in prior studies employing CT. Conclusion: Our results support a growing consensus that cerebral palsy in term infants is often the result of prenatal factors, and less commonly related to the perinatal period.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)67-78
Number of pages12
JournalAmerican Journal of Neuroradiology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 1992


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