Cerebral Palsy in Children With Congenital Zika Syndrome: A 2-Year Neurodevelopmental Follow-up

J Child Neurol. 2020 Mar;35(3):202-207. doi: 10.1177/0883073819885724. Epub 2019 Nov 13.

Abstract

Objective: To describe the 2-year neurodevelopmental outcome in children with cerebral palsy associated with congenital Zika (CZ) and explore variables associated with a more severe presentation.

Methods: Data on 69 children with cerebral palsy associated with CZ, followed in a neurorehabilitation hospital, who consecutively attended the neurodevelopmental assessment at 2 years of age, were collected. Bayley III Scales of Infant and Toddler Development, Hammersmith Infant Neurological Examination, and Gross Motor Function Classification System were used for the outcome evaluation. Descriptive and inferential statistical analysis were performed.

Results: The median age at follow-up was of 24.0 (23-32) months. Only 3 (4.3%) children were not microcephalic. The majority presented with bilateral (94.2%), spastic (100.0%), Gross Motor Function Classification System grade IV or V (92.8%) cerebral palsy, epilepsy (73.1%), extremely low performances on cognitive (94.2%), language (95.7%), and motor (95.7%) Bayley-III Scales of Infant and Toddler Development Test scores. The median Hammersmith Infant Neurological Examination score was of 21.0 (range 9-75). There was a correlation between birth head circumference with the cognitive (r = 0.3, P < .01), language (r = 0.3, P < .01), and motor (r = 0.3, P < .01) Bayley-III Scales of Infant and Toddler Development Test scores, as well as with the Hammersmith Infant Neurological Examination score (r = 0.2, P < .03). An association was observed between an inferior median Hammersmith Infant Neurological Examination score with congenital microcephaly (P = .04), arthrogryposis (P = .02), and epilepsy in the first year (P < .01).

Conclusion: Cerebral palsy related to CZ presents with a severe global impairment at a 2-year follow-up. Birth head circumference, arthrogryposis, and early epilepsy are associated with a worse outcome and may be considered as prognostic markers. These findings are important for the neurorehabilitation planning, parents' guiding, and future prognostic studies.

Keywords: Zika virus; cerebral palsy; congenital Zika; neurodevelopment.