Topographical neurological distribution
Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Abstract To evaluate the topographical neurological distribution, patterns of abnormal tone and related functional neuromotor impairment after grade 3 and grade 4 intraventricular/periventricular haemorrhage (IPVH), 33 children with previous grade 3 or 4IPVH of mean gestational age 30.9 weeks (range 25–40 weeks) and mean birth weight 1743 g (range 866–3600 g) were examined neurologically at 4.7 years (range 0.75–10.8 years). Neurological signs were absent in 10/33 cases which were equally distributed between the grade 3 and grade 4 IPVH groups. The largest single topographical neurological distribution was hemiparesis in 8/23, followed jointly by diplegia (cerebral paraplegia) in 6/23 and triplegia in 6/23 cases and finally quadriplegia in 3/23 cases. Grade 4 IPVH tended to result in asymmetrical syndromes, accounting for 7/8 cases of hemiparesis and 5/6 cases of triplegia, whereas all 3/3 cases of quadriplegia followed grade 3 IPVH. The 6/23 cases of diplegia were shared between the grade 3 and grade 4 IPVH groups. Tone was normal in 7/8 of the hemiparetic subjects. Dystonia was the commonest tone abnormality, affecting 8/23 children with neurological disturbance, followed by ataxia/hypotonia in 4/23 and mixed dystonia/ hypotonia in 3/23. Only 1/23 cases had signs of spasticity. Spasticity is rare following severe IPVH. Diplegic children had a better functional neuromotor grade than hemiparetic children, who in turn did better than triplegic children. Ataxia hypotonia resulted in better functional outcome than dystronia, which in turn was more favourable than mixed tone patterns. Cranial imaging by ultrasound (US) or computed tomographic (CT) scanning proved an unreliable prognostic indicator except in the case of hemiparesis, for which US scans correctly predicted the affected side in 5/7 cases. The neurological syndromes following severe IPVH differ from the classical encephalopathy of prematurity, and this should lead to a re-appraisal of the trends in the prevalence of cerebral palsy. Caution should be exercised in the interpretation of cranial imaging with regard to pessimistic prognoses in the presence of changes or undue optimism in their absence.
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