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Dev Med Child Neurol. 2012 Aug;54(8):748-52. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-8749.2012.04309.x. Epub 2012 May 12.

Congenital non-central nervous system malformations in cerebral palsy: a distinct subset?

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Division of Pediatric Neurology, Montreal Children's Hospital, McGill University Health Centre, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.



The aim of this article was to identify and contrast the subset of children with cerebral palsy (CP) and non-central nervous system (CNS) congenital malformations with children with CP but no coexisting non-CNS congenital malformations.


A population-based regional comprehensive CP registry was used to identify children with CP who had non-CNS congenital malformations (n = 34; 19 males, 15 females; 22 classified as Gross Motor Function Classification System [GMFCS] levels I-III, 12 as GMFCS level IV or V). Their clinical features were then compared with other children with CP without non-CNS congenital malformations (n = 207; 115 males, 92 females; 138 classified as GMFCS levels I-III, 69 as GMFCS level IV or V).


Children with CP and non-CNS congenital malformations did not differ from those without in terms of neurological subtype distribution or functional severity, as measured by the GMFCS. Also, there was no association with previous maternal infections (i.e. toxoplasmosis, rubella, cytomegalovirus, herpes simplex virus 2 [TORCH]), maternal fever, use of illicit substances, asphyxia, neonatal encephalopathy, intraventricular haemorrhage, or septicaemia. The incidence of comorbidities such as convulsions, communication difficulties, gavage feeding, cortical blindness, and auditory impairment was not higher in this subgroup.


The incidence of congenital non-CNS malformations among children with CP is appreciable. Children with these non-CNS malformations do not appear to differ from other children with CP regarding neurological subtype, functional severity, and comorbidities, or maternal or obstetrical factors. Thus, the specific presence of a non-CNS congenital malformation does not appear to assist the practitioner in the management or understanding of a child's CP.

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