The pyramidal tract in congenital hemiparesis: relationship between morphology and function in periventricular lesions

Neuropediatrics. 2000 Oct;31(5):257-64. doi: 10.1055/s-2000-9239.


Three-dimensional MRI data sets were obtained from 12 young adult patients with congenital spastic hemiparesis caused by unilateral periventricular white matter lesions. The impact of these lesions on corticospinal projections to the upper and lower extremities was assessed on reconstructed semi-coronal planes following anatomical landmarks of somatotopic organization in the precentral gyrus and in the internal capsule: a more anterior plane running through the hand-knob of the precentral gyrus and the anterior portion of the posterior limb of the internal capsule representing projections to the upper extremity, and a more posterior plane running through the top of the precentral gyrus and the middle portion of the posterior limb of the internal capsule representing projections to the lower extremity. In addition, the total lesion extent was determined volumetrically, and Wallerian degeneration was assessed qualitatively in the internal capsule and quantitatively by measuring brainstem asymmetry. We found a strong correlation between motor dysfunction of the upper and lower limb and the lateral extent of the periventricular lesion measured on the respective semi-coronal planes. The total lesion volume and the degree of Wallerian degeneration correlated less strongly, both reaching statistical significance only with motor impairment of the hand.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Arm / innervation
  • Brain / pathology
  • Brain / physiopathology
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Leg / innervation
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Neurologic Examination
  • Paresis / congenital
  • Paresis / pathology*
  • Paresis / physiopathology*
  • Pyramidal Tracts / pathology*
  • Pyramidal Tracts / physiopathology*
  • Wallerian Degeneration / pathology*
  • Wallerian Degeneration / physiopathology*