Congenital Anomalies in Children With Cerebral Palsy: A Systematic Review

Shona Goldsmith, Sarah McIntyre, Michele Hansen, Nadia Badawi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Citations (Scopus)


Congenital anomalies are a strong risk factor for cerebral palsy, particularly for children born at term. This systematic review aimed to address gaps in our understanding of the association between congenital anomalies and cerebral palsy. Eight population-based studies (n = 10 081) were identified. Congenital anomalies were reported in 12% to 32% of children with pre/perinatal brain injury and 20% of children with postneonatal brain injury. Variation between studies included study cohort inclusion criteria and the definitions and classification of included anomalies. The most common cerebral anomalies were microcephaly and hydrocephaly, whereas circulatory system anomalies were the most common noncerebral anomalies. The proportion of congenital anomalies was higher in children born at term than preterm. Synthesizing the highest quality data published, this review identified that congenital anomalies are common in cerebral palsy. New collaborative research, addressing sources of variation, is vital to identify pathways to cerebral palsy that include specific congenital anomalies, and explore opportunities for prevention.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Child Neurology
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 17 Jun 2019

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