Article Text

  1. E Garne1,
  2. C Cans2,
  3. J Rankin3,
  4. H Dolk4,
  5. A Colver3,
  6. P Uldall5,
  7. E Amar6,
  8. I Krageloh-Mann7
  1. 1Paediatric Department, Kolding Hospital, Kolding, Denmark
  2. 2RHEOP-Equipe ThEMAS, Grenoble, France
  3. 3Newcastle University, Newcastle, UK
  4. 4University of Ulster, Belfast, N Ireland, UK
  5. 5National Institute of Public Health, Copenhagen, Denmark
  6. 6Directrice REMERA, University Lyon 1, Lyon, France
  7. 7University Children’s Hospital, Tubingen, Germany


To determine the proportion of children with cerebral palsy (CP) who have cerebral and non-cerebral congenital malformations to understand their relationship.

Methods Data from 11 CP registries from the European Cerebral Palsy Database (SCPE) for children born during 1976–96 with non-acquired CP were reviewed and followed by a linkage study in three regions between a SCPE registry and a EUROCAT malformation registry for children born in 1991–8.

Results Database study: 547/4584 children (11.9%) with CP were reported to have a congenital malformation. The majority (8.6% of children with CP) had a cerebral malformation and 3.3% a non-cerebral congenital malformation. The most frequent types of congenital malformation were microcephaly and hydrocephaly.

Linkage Study 168 children with CP and a congenital malformation were identified among 1114 children with CP (15.1%). These CP registers had already recorded most of the congenital malformations (88.7%) before linkage. Cerebral malformations were reported in 8.6% of children with CP varying with CP type (p<0.001). The proportion of cerebral congenital malformation was significantly higher among children with CP with severe intellectual impairment (15.1%) or children born at term (12.8%). The rate of non-cerebral congenital malformation was 6.4%, higher than in the general population of births. This rate did not vary with CP type (p = 0.28), but was higher in preterm children with CP and severe intellectual impairment (13.7%).

Conclusion A significant proportion of children with CP have brain malformations presumed to be the cause. CP is also associated with non-cerebral malformations and the causal pathways underlying this association need further elucidation.

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