Cerebellar infarction and atrophy in infants and children with a history of premature birth

Pediatr Radiol. 1997 Feb;27(2):139-43. doi: 10.1007/s002470050085.


Background and objective: We wished to determine the pattern of cerebellar disease in children with a history of premature birth and early ultrasound evidence of intraventricular haemorrhage and/or parenchymal lesions of the cerebral hemispheres.

Materials and methods: MRI findings for all premature infants examined in a 3-year period (73 patients) were reviewed to determine the nature and frequency of lesions of the cerebellum and the results were correlated with clinical data.

Results: Six cases of unilateral cerebellar infarction were identified. These involved the posterior inferior cerebellar territory in each case (as well as other territories in two cases). A case of generalised cerebellar atrophy and three cases of unilateral cerebellar hemisphere atrophy were identified as well. In nine of these ten cases abnormalities were also seen elsewhere in the brain.

Conclusion: The literature describes cerebellar infarction in infants and children as rare, but this study shows that it is not unusual following perinatal haemorrhagic/ischaemic anoxic injury. It is suggested that cerebellar atrophy may also occur as a result of vascular disease.

MeSH terms

  • Arteries / pathology
  • Atrophy
  • Brain Ischemia / complications
  • Cerebellar Diseases / diagnosis
  • Cerebellar Diseases / etiology
  • Cerebellum / blood supply*
  • Cerebellum / diagnostic imaging
  • Cerebellum / pathology
  • Cerebral Hemorrhage / complications
  • Cerebral Hemorrhage / diagnostic imaging
  • Cerebral Infarction / diagnosis*
  • Cerebral Infarction / etiology
  • Cerebral Ventricles / diagnostic imaging
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Gestational Age
  • Humans
  • Hypoxia, Brain / complications
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infant, Premature*
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Ultrasonography