Term neonatal encephalopathy antecedent cerebral palsy: a retrospective population-based study

Eur J Paediatr Neurol. 2013 May;17(3):269-73. doi: 10.1016/j.ejpn.2012.11.001. Epub 2012 Nov 26.


Objective: To compare the clinical profile of term-born cerebral palsy children with or without antecedent moderate to severe neonatal encephalopathy. We hypothesized that antecedent neonatal encephalopathy is associated with a spastic quadriparesis cerebral palsy clinical profile, a higher severity of functional motor impairment, and a greater number of associated comorbidities.

Methods: Using the Quebec Cerebral Palsy Registry, neurologic subtype, Gross Motor Function Classification System stratification, and comorbidities were compared in children with cerebral palsy with and without antecedent neonatal encephalopathy. Differences between groups were evaluated using chi square analysis for categorical variables and student t test for continuous variables.

Results: We identified 132 children with cerebral palsy born full term over a 4 year-interval (1999-2002 inclusive) within the Quebec Cerebral Palsy Registry, of which 44 (33%) had an antecedent neonatal encephalopathy. Spastic quadriplegia subtype of cerebral palsy and Gross Motor Function Classification System Level III-V (non-independent ambulation) were significantly associated with antecedent neonatal encephalopathy. The mean number of comorbidities experienced was not different in the two groups. Of five documented comorbidities, only severe communication difficulties were found to be associated (p < 0.05) with antecedent neonatal encephalopathy.

Conclusion: A pattern of increased neuromotor impairment, functional gross motor severity and possible communication difficulties was found in the 33% of children with cerebral palsy born at term and with a history of neonatal encephalopathy.

MeSH terms

  • Cerebral Palsy / classification
  • Cerebral Palsy / epidemiology*
  • Cerebral Palsy / etiology*
  • Comorbidity
  • Encephalitis / complications
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infant, Newborn, Diseases / epidemiology
  • Infant, Newborn, Diseases / etiology
  • Quebec / epidemiology
  • Registries
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Severity of Illness Index