Cerebral palsy after maternal trauma in pregnancy

Dev Med Child Neurol. 2007 Sep;49(9):700-6. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-8749.2007.00700.x.


Ten children (six males, four females) with spastic (n=9) and mixed spastic-dyskinetic (n=1) cerebral palsy were born at term to mothers who earlier in the pregnancy had been involved in accidents without suffering overt abdominal injury, placental abruption, or premature onset of labour. At follow-up (at ages 2-24y), Gross Motor Function Classification System levels were II (n=7) and V (n=3). Cognitive level was normal in five patients, while learning disability was mild to moderate in two and severe in three. Magnetic resonance imaging of the brain in all children, assessed blind to the dates of maternal trauma in pregnancy, showed lesions consistent with prenatal vascular insult at the time of the trauma. Feasible mechanisms of brain injury include reduced placental blood flow and/or placental embolization.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Brain / pathology*
  • Cerebral Palsy / etiology*
  • Cerebral Palsy / pathology
  • Cerebral Palsy / physiopathology
  • Female
  • Gestational Age
  • Humans
  • Learning Disabilities / etiology*
  • Learning Disabilities / pathology
  • Learning Disabilities / physiopathology
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications*
  • Pregnancy Trimester, Second
  • Pregnancy Trimester, Third
  • Psychomotor Performance*
  • Severity of Illness Index