Aetiology of cerebral palsy in children presenting at Tygerberg Hospital

  • Ronald van Toorn
  • Barbara Laughton
  • Netta van Zyl


Two hundred and forty-two records of children with cerebral palsy were reviewed with regard to the aetiology of their condition. The origin of the insult was prenatal in 70 (28.9%), perinatal/neonatal in 92 (38%), acquired in 51 (21%) and unclassifiable in 29 (11.98%). Cerebral malformations (15.7%) and stroke (5.7%) were the most frequent antenatal causes, while birth asphyxia (17.3%), encephalopathy of prematurity (17.7%) and to a lesser degree kernicterus (2%) constituted the most frequent perinatal causes. Acquired cerebral palsy, particularly secondary to nervous system infections (82%), constituted a significant proportion of cases. Spastic quadriplegia (40%) was the most common type of cerebral palsy. The predominance of cases of perinatal and acquired aetiology is in contrast to the antenatal preponderance reported in developed countries.


Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 1999-7671
print ISSN: 1994-3032