Neuropediatrics 1999; 30(5): 249-255
DOI: 10.1055/s-2007-973499
Original articles

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MRI and Clinical Characteristics of Children with Hemiplegic Cerebral Palsy

G. Cioni1 , 2 , B. Sales1 , 2 , P. B. Paolicelli1 , 2 , E. Petacchi1 , 2 , M. F. Scusa1 , 2 , R. Canapicchi2 , 3
  • 1Division of Child Neurology and Psychiatry, University of Pisa, Italy
  • 2Stella Maris Scientific Institute, Pisa, Italy
  • 3Department of Neuroradiology, S. Chiara Hospital, Pisa, Italy
Further Information

Publication History

Publication Date:
12 March 2007 (online)


Magnetic resonance imagings of 91 children with hemiplegic cerebral palsy were analysed with the aim of clustering their features into fairly homogeneous forms. In addition, the different clinical patterns of each form were described. Four main types of lesion were distinguished: form 1 (13 cases), which comprised brain malformations, form 2 (41 subjects), which grouped abnormalities of the periventricular white matter, form 3 (27 children), which was represented by cortical-subcortical lesions, and form 4 (10 subjects), which grouped non-progressive postnatal brain injuries. None of the children had normal MRI and a high incidence of bilateral lesions was found, especially in form 2. A left motor involvement was prevalent in the sample and was noted in all but the third form. The severity of impairment was mainly moderate in forms 1 and 3, mild in the others. The upper limb was found to be more affected in all forms except the second one, which presented a greater involvement of the lower limb. Mental retardation occurred in about one-third of the children with forms 1 and 4, less often in the other two. Seizures occurred in about half of the children with forms 1 or 3, while the incidence was lower in forms 4 and 2. A strong correlation between the presence of seizures and mental retardation was observed. The results of this study show the importance of MRI in the evaluation of children with hemiplegic cerebral palsy.