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Eur J Paediatr Neurol. 2008 Mar;12(2):82-8. Epub 2007 Sep 19.

Cerebral palsy and congenital malformations.

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Paediatric Department, Kolding Hospital, DK-6000 Kolding, Denmark.



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


Data from 11 CP registries contributing to the European Cerebral Palsy Database (SCPE), for children born in the period 1976-1996. The malformations were classified as recognized syndromes, chromosomal anomalies, cerebral malformations or non-cerebral malformations. Prevalence of malformations was compared to published data on livebirths from a European database of congenital malformations (EUROCAT).


Overall 547 out of 4584 children (11.9%) with CP were reported to have a congenital malformation. The majority (8.6% of all children) were diagnosed with a cerebral malformation. The most frequent types of cerebral malformations were microcephaly and hydrocephaly. Non-cerebral malformations were present in 97 CP children and in further 14 CP children with cerebral malformations. The most frequent groups of non-cerebral malformations were cardiac, facial clefts and limb and skeleton malformations. Children born at term had a significantly higher prevalence of cerebral malformations compared to children born before 32 weeks (12.1% versus 2.1%, p<0.001).


Cerebral malformations were much more frequent among children with CP than among all livebirths in the population. Malformations in organ systems close to the brain (eye, facial clefts) were more frequent in the CP population while malformations in organ systems further from the brain (renal, genital) were more frequent in the general population.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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