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Dev Med Child Neurol. 2007 Sep;49(9):700-6.

Cerebral palsy after maternal trauma in pregnancy.

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Department of Neurology, Children's University Hospital, Dublin, Republic of Ireland.


Ten children (six males, four females) with spastic (n=9) and mixed spastic-dyskinetic (n=1) cerebral palsy were born at term to mothers who earlier in the pregnancy had been involved in accidents without suffering overt abdominal injury, placental abruption, or premature onset of labour. At follow-up (at ages 2-24y), Gross Motor Function Classification System levels were II (n=7) and V (n=3). Cognitive level was normal in five patients, while learning disability was mild to moderate in two and severe in three. Magnetic resonance imaging of the brain in all children, assessed blind to the dates of maternal trauma in pregnancy, showed lesions consistent with prenatal vascular insult at the time of the trauma. Feasible mechanisms of brain injury include reduced placental blood flow and/or placental embolization.

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