The correlation between MRI findings and sensorimotor development was investigated in a group of 48 infants with bilateral spastic cerebral palsy (CP). The ages at MRI examination and cognitive assessment were fairly homogeneous (mean 15 months and 17 months, respectively). The following MRI parameters were scored: size of lateral ventricles, extension of white matter lesions and of white matter reduction, thinning of corpus callosum, presence and size of cystic areas, dimension of subarachnoid spaces and presence of cortical abnormalities. Cognitive assessment included Griffiths Developmental Scales and Uzgiris-Hunt Scales. The patients were subdivided into six classes according to intellectual level (DSM-III-R). For the whole group a highly significant correlation was found between all MRI parameters and the level of cognitive development. This result was probably due to the inclusion of 14 untestable, severely mentally retarded infants, who showed very severe MRI abnormalities. However, when the untestable infants were excluded from the analysis, it was the presence of cysts and the entity of white matter reduction that correlated with both Griffiths Scales and Uzgiris-Hunt Scales. These results indicate the clinical value of MRI findings and particularly of white matter abnormalities for early identification of sensorimotor impairment in infants with bilateral spastic CP.