Purpose: The MR findings in patients with spastic diplegia were investigated and the role of MR imaging in assessing the extent of brain injury was evaluated.
Material and methods: 39 male and 24 female patients (preterm/term 43/20) were imaged using a 0.5 T MR system.
Results: The MR findings in term patients were quite different from those in preterm patients; 55% of the term patients showed normal and minimal changes on MR, whereas 90.7% of the 43 preterm children had periventricular leucomalacia. The deep cerebral white matter was the most frequently involved site. Objective measurements revealed significant reductions of the entire sagittal area of corpus callosum in diplegic patients in comparison with normal controls. The motor palsy severity correlated well with the extent of corpus callosum involvement.
Conclusion: The corpus callosum appears to be a sensitive marker site for the assessment of the extent of white matter injury.