Cerebellar hypoplasia of prematurity: Causes and consequences

Handb Clin Neurol. 2019:162:201-216. doi: 10.1016/B978-0-444-64029-1.00009-6.


As magnetic resonance imaging has been increasingly used to study brain injury and brain development in premature newborns, the prevalence of cerebellar abnormalities is increasingly recognized. The preterm cerebellum is highly vulnerable to a number of insults during its critical phase of growth and development throughout the period of prematurity and beyond. Direct cerebellar injury and additional factors such as supratentorial brain injury and glucocorticoid exposure adversely impact cerebellar growth and, consequently, increase the risk of neurodevelopmental disabilities. In this chapter the causes and consequences of cerebellar hypoplasia of prematurity are reviewed.

Keywords: Cerebellar hemorrhage; Cerebellar hypoplasia; Cerebellar injury; Development; Outcome; Prematurity.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Animals
  • Cerebellar Diseases / congenital*
  • Cerebellar Diseases / etiology
  • Cerebellar Diseases / pathology*
  • Cerebellum / abnormalities*
  • Cerebellum / diagnostic imaging
  • Cerebellum / pathology
  • Developmental Disabilities / diagnostic imaging
  • Developmental Disabilities / pathology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infant, Premature
  • Infant, Premature, Diseases / pathology*
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Nervous System Malformations / diagnostic imaging
  • Nervous System Malformations / pathology*
  • Pregnancy

Supplementary concepts

  • Cerebellar Hypoplasia