Cerebral palsy after assisted reproductive technology: a cohort study

Shona Goldsmith, Sarah Mcintyre, Nadia Badawi, Michele Hansen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

49 Citations (Scopus)


Aim: To calculate the birth prevalence of cerebral palsy (CP) after assisted reproductive technology (ART) and compare the clinical outcomes of children with CP after ART or natural conception. Method: This cohort study used linked CP and ART register data from live births in Western Australia (1994–2002). Birth prevalence was calculated and data analysed using descriptive statistics and logistic regression. It was adjusted for confounding variables and stratified by plurality and gestational age. Results: In total, 211 660 live births were included; prevalence of CP was increased in children born after ART (7.2/1000 live births compared with naturally conceived births, 2.5/1000). Odds of CP were doubled for singletons; when stratified by gestational age odds were only increased in the under 32-week group. Prevalence of CP was increased in ART (9.9/1000 live births) and naturally conceived twins (8.4/1000 live births). Clinical outcomes were similar between ART and naturally conceived children. Interpretation: The birth prevalence of CP is increased two-fold after ART. After stratification for gestational age and plurality, residual risk remains in singletons born very preterm. Birth prevalence of CP will be tracked over time to identify any impact of changes to clinical practice. What this paper adds: In Western Australia, assisted reproductive technology (ART) increases birth prevalence of cerebral palsy (CP), mediated mostly by preterm and multiple births. Preterm birth alone does not account for the doubled odds of CP for ART singletons born very preterm. Clinical outcomes are similar between ART and naturally conceived children with CP.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)73-80
Number of pages8
JournalDevelopmental Medicine and Child Neurology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2018


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