Predicting comorbidities with neuroimaging in children with cerebral palsy

Pediatr Neurol. 2011 Oct;45(4):229-32. doi: 10.1016/j.pediatrneurol.2011.06.005.


A population-based registry was used to ascertain whether neuroimaging findings of children with cerebral palsy could predict the occurrence of certain comorbidities. Neuroimaging findings and comorbidities data were extracted from the Quebec Cerebral Palsy Registry for children born in a 4-year birth interval (1999-2002) covering half of the province's population. Neuroimaging studies were classified into 10 mutually exclusive categories (periventricular white matter injury/leukomalacia, cerebral malformation, cerebral vascular accident, deep gray matter injury, superficial gray matter injury, diffuse gray matter injury, intracranial hemorrhage, infection, nonspecific findings, and normal). Comorbidities studied included cortical blindness, severe auditory impairment, inability to communicate verbally, assisted feeding, and the presence of afebrile seizures in the prior 12 months. Neuroimaging results were available for a total of 213 children. Only deep gray matter injury (defined as signal abnormality or volume loss in subcortical gray matter, n = 9) was significantly (P < 0.05) linked with the occurrence of both the inability to communicate verbally (n = 5, 55.6% vs n = 46, 22.5%, P = 0.04) and with a higher mean number of comorbidities (1.67 vs 0.70, P < 0.01), and therefore with increased burden of comorbidities. These findings may improve our ability to prognosticate the outcome of children with cerebral palsy, enabling targeted early direct interventions.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Blindness, Cortical / complications*
  • Blindness, Cortical / pathology
  • Brain / pathology*
  • Cerebral Palsy / complications*
  • Cerebral Palsy / pathology
  • Child
  • Communication Disorders / complications*
  • Communication Disorders / pathology
  • Hearing Loss / complications*
  • Hearing Loss / pathology
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Neuroimaging
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Registries
  • Retrospective Studies