Congenital anomalies in children with cerebral palsy: a population-based record linkage study

Dev Med Child Neurol. 2010 Apr;52(4):345-51. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-8749.2009.03415.x. Epub 2009 Sep 8.


Aim: Our aim was to determine the proportion of children with cerebral palsy (CP) who have a congenital anomaly (CA) in three regions (Isère Region, French Alps; Funen County, Denmark; Northern Region, England) where population-based CP and CA registries exist, and to classify the children according to CA subtype.

Method: Data for children born between 1991 and 1999 were linked using electronic matching of cases. All potential matches were checked manually by each centre and verified as true matches.

Results: A total of 1104 children with CP were born during the study period (663 males, 441 females). Of these, 166 (15%; 95% Confidence Interval [CI] 13.0-17.3) children with CP had a CA: 8.8% had a cerebral anomaly, 4.8% had a non-cerebral anomaly, and 1.4% had a non-cerebral-related syndrome or a chromosomal/genetic anomaly.

Interpretation: The prevalence of cerebral anomaly was highest in children with ataxic CP (41.7%) and lowest in those with dyskinetic CP (2.1%). Cerebral anomalies were found in 8.4% and 7% of children with bilateral and unilateral spastic CP respectively. The most frequent cerebral anomalies were primary microcephaly (26.5%) and congenital hydrocephalus (17.3%). The most common non-cerebral anomalies recorded were cardiac (12.6% of children with CP and CA), urinary (5.4%), and musculoskeletal (5.4%). The prevalence of cerebral anomalies was higher among children born at term (13%) than among those born preterm (3.8%). Associated sensorineural or intellectual impairments occurred more often in children with CP and cerebral anomalies. We concluded that cerebral and non-cerebral CA prevalence was higher among the CP population than in the general population of live births.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Cerebral Palsy* / complications
  • Cerebral Palsy* / congenital
  • Cerebral Palsy* / epidemiology
  • Child
  • Community Health Planning
  • Databases, Factual
  • Europe / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • International Cooperation
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Nervous System Malformations / complications*
  • Nervous System Malformations / epidemiology*
  • Prevalence
  • Registries
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Young Adult