Objective: This study looks at what profile can be expected in children with cerebral palsy spectrum disorder (CP) and a normal MRI.
Methods: The data were excerpted from the Canadian Cerebral Palsy Registry database. Only patients who had undergone MRI were included in the analysis. Neuroimaging classification was ascertained by university-based pediatric neuroradiologists and split into 2 categories: normal and abnormal MRIs. Six factors were then compared between those 2 groups: prematurity, perinatal adversity, presence of more than 1 comorbidity, CP subtype, bimanual dexterity (Manual Ability Classification System [MACS]), and gross motor function (Gross Motor Function Classification System [GMFCS]).
Results: Participants with no perinatal adversity were 5.518 times more likely to have a normal MRI (p < 0.0001, 95% confidence interval [CI] 4.153-7.330). Furthermore, participants with dyskinetic, ataxic/hypotonic, and spastic diplegic forms of CP were 2.045 times more likely to have a normal MRI than those with hemiplegia, triplegia, and quadriplegia (p < 0.0001, 95% CI 1.506-2.778). No significant difference was found in prematurity, GMFCS levels, MACS levels, and the number of comorbidities.
Conclusions: Normal MRIs were associated with lack of perinatal adversity as well as with the dyskinetic, ataxic/hypotonic, and spastic diplegic CP subtypes. As MRI normality is not strongly associated with the severity of CP, continuous follow-up in children with normal imaging appears warranted. Further advanced imaging modalities, as well as strong consideration for metabolic and genetic testing, may provide additional insights into causal pathways in this population.
© 2019 American Academy of Neurology.