Pediatric congenital bilateral perisylvian syndrome: clinical and MRI features in 12 patients

Neuropediatrics. 1997 Aug;28(4):198-203. doi: 10.1055/s-2007-973700.


In 1926, Foix, Chavany and Marie described an acquired syndrome of fasciopharyngoglossomasticatory diplegia resulting from bilateral infarction of the anterior operculum. Clinical features consisted of facial diplegia, dysarthria, pseudobulbar palsy, mild to severe mental retardation, and seizures. A developmental form, similar in presentation in adults with MRI findings consisting of bilateral perisylvian cortical malformation consistent with polymicrogyria involving the sylvian fissure and opercular cortex, has been recognized; but few pediatric cases of congenital bilateral perisylvian syndrome (CBPS) have been reported. Over the past four years, we have encountered 12 cases of CBPS presenting in childhood. Age ranges were from 1 week to 11 years with a median of 2.25 years; six were less than two years of age. Seven were male and five female. Ten had bilateral perisylvian polymicrogyria on MRI; two had unilateral perisylvian schizencephaly with contralateral perisylvian polymicrogyria. Clinical manifestations included developmental delay in 7; poor palatal function in 5; hypotonia in 4; arthrogryposis in 4; hemiparesis in 3; apnea in 3; paraparesis in 2; micrognathia in 2; pectus excavatum in 2; quadriparesis in 1; and hearing loss in 1. Seizures occurred in seven (58%) and consisted of infantile spasms (n = 1), generalized tonic-clonic (n = 1), complex partial (n = 2), partial motor (n = 2; 1 with secondary generalization), and febrile convulsions (n = 1). CBPS has different manifestations in the pediatric population than in adults. CBPS is more common than previously thought, is recognizable by MRI and should be suspected clinically in any infant or child presenting with oromotor dysfunction/pseudobulbar signs and developmental delay, especially if there are associated congenital malformations. Epilepsy is not a constant feature in the pediatric presentation and is variable in type and severity.

MeSH terms

  • Abnormalities, Multiple / pathology*
  • Abnormalities, Multiple / physiopathology
  • Adult
  • Arthrogryposis / complications
  • Cerebral Cortex / abnormalities*
  • Cerebral Cortex / pathology
  • Cerebral Cortex / physiopathology
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Developmental Disabilities / etiology
  • Developmental Disabilities / pathology
  • Electroencephalography
  • Epilepsy / etiology
  • Epilepsy / pathology
  • Facial Paralysis / congenital
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Palate / physiopathology
  • Paralysis / congenital*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Syndrome