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South African Journal of Child Health

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Aetiology of cerebral palsy in children presenting at Tygerberg Hospital

Ronald van Toorn, Barbara Laughton, Netta van Zyl

Abstract


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.




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