Early prognosis for ambulation of neonatal intensive care survivors with cerebral palsy

Dev Med Child Neurol. 1989 Dec;31(6):766-73. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-8749.1989.tb04072.x.


The ambulatory status of 74 neonatal intensive care unit survivors with cerebral palsy, excluding those with central nervous system malformations and syndromes, was assessed at eight years of age. Detailed examinations were completed at two and eight years of age; of the 47 who were sitting by two years, 46 became ambulatory, and a total of 47 of the 74 children became ambulatory. The clinical type of cerebral palsy at two years of age related significantly to eight-year ambulation. However, between two and eight years the diagnosis was changed for 18 children. At two years of age the tonic labyrinthine, asymmetrical and symmetrical tonic neck and Moro reflexes related significantly to ambulation; in five of 27 children not walking, these reflexes were absent by two years of age. Foot placement and/or parachute reactions at two years were found in more than one-third of children not walking. Multivariate analysis determined that age at sitting explained 91 per cent of the variance in ambulation. No other variables, combined with sitting, increased this prediction.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Ataxia / etiology*
  • Ataxia / physiopathology
  • Cerebral Palsy / complications*
  • Cerebral Palsy / physiopathology
  • Cerebral Palsy / surgery
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Intensive Care, Neonatal*
  • Paraplegia / etiology*
  • Paraplegia / physiopathology
  • Prognosis
  • Reflex