MR findings in pontocerebellar hypoplasia

Pediatr Radiol. 1998 Jul;28(7):547-51. doi: 10.1007/s002470050410.


We present four cases with combined hypoplasia of the cerebellum and the ventral pons-pontocerebellar hypoplasia (PCH). PCH represents an autosomal recessive neurodegenerative disorder with fetal onset. The disease is rare, with less than 20 cases having been reported. The main findings of PCH and the inclusion criteria for our cases can be summarised as progressive microcephaly from birth, pontocerebellar hypoplasia documented by MRI and marked chorea, which may change, later in childhood, to more dystonic patterns. The cerebral cortex becomes progressively atrophic. Motor and mental development are delayed, and epilepsy, mainly tonic-clonic seizures, is frequent. The MRI features in all of our cases were: (1) Hypoplastic cerebellum situated close to the tentorium. The hypoplastic cerebellum has a reduced number of folia, in contrast to the normal number of thin folia in simple cerebellar atrophy. (2) The cerebellar hemispheres are reduced to bean-like or wing-like structures. The cerebellar hemispheres appear to 'float' in the posterior fossa. (3) Markedly hypoplastic ventral pons. (4) Slight atrophy of the supratentorial gyral pattern. (5) Dilated cerebromedullary cistern and fourth ventricle. (6) Delayed myelination of the white matter. (7) No significant disorganisation of brain architecture and no severe corpus callosum defect.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Cerebellum / abnormalities*
  • Child, Preschool
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging*
  • Male
  • Nervous System Malformations / diagnosis
  • Pons / abnormalities*