Hyperbilirubinemia and Asphyxia in Children With Dyskinetic Cerebral Palsy

Pediatr Neurol. 2021 Jul;120:80-85. doi: 10.1016/j.pediatrneurol.2021.02.002. Epub 2021 Mar 4.


Background: We aimed to study the clinical, etiologic, and radiological characteristics in children with dyskinetic cerebral palsy (DCP) and to compare the etiologic subtypes of hyperbilirubinemia and perinatal asphyxia.

Methods: This is a cross-sectional, observational study that enrolled consecutive children with DCP, aged one to 14 years.

Results: Sixty-five children with DCP were evaluated. Most children were boys (77%, n = 50), and term gestation (80%, n = 52). Presenting concerns were global developmental delay (97%, n = 63) and involuntary movements (60%, n = 39). Hyperbilirubinemia (66%, n = 43) and perinatal asphyxia (29%, n = 19) were the most important causes. The majority (83%, n = 54) of children were severely disabled (level V and IV). The hyperbilirubinemia group had significant motor delay (63% vs 37%, P = 0.03) and upward gaze palsy (69.7% vs 31.5%, P = 0.005) when compared with the perinatal asphyxia group. Hyperbilirubinemia significantly involved pallidi (86% vs 10% P = 0.0001) and subthalamic nucleus (26% vs none, P = 0.01), whereas asphyxia significantly involved the putamen (58% vs none, P = 0.0001), thalamus (63% vs none, P = 0.0001), and periventricular white matter (79% vs 19%, P = 0.0001).

Conclusions: DCP is the dominant type of cerebral palsy seen in term-born babies with severe dystonia, developmental delay, and motor impairment. Hyperbilirubinemia is the major cause of DCP in the study. Hyperbilirubinemia is associated with motor delay, upward gaze palsy, prominent dystonia, and involvement of globus pallidi and subthalamic nuclei.

Keywords: BIND; Basal ganglia; Choreoathetosis; Dyskinetic cerebral palsy; Dystonia; Hyperbilirubinemia; Jaundice; Kernicterus.