Early prediction of unilateral cerebral palsy in infants with asymmetric perinatal brain injury - Model development and internal validation.


Department of Women's and Children's Health, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden. Electronic address: [Email]


BACKGROUND : Early diagnosis of unilateral cerebral palsy is important after asymmetric perinatal brain injury (APBI). Our objective is to estimate the risk of unilateral cerebral palsy (UCP) in infants with APBI during the first months of life using neuroimaging and clinical assessment.
METHODS : Prognostic multivariable prediction modeling study including 52 infants (27 males), median gestational age 39.3 weeks with APBI from Sweden (n = 33) and the Netherlands (n = 19).
METHODS : (1) neonatal MRI within one month after term equivalent age (TEA), (2) Hand Assessment for Infants (HAI) between 3.5 and 4.5 months of (corrected) age. UCP was diagnosed ≥24 months of age. Firth regression with cross-validation was used to construct and internally validate the model to estimate the risk for UCP based on the predictors corticospinal tract (CST) and basal ganglia/thalamus (BGT) involvement, contralesional HAI Each hand sum score (EaHS), gestational age and sex.
RESULTS : UCP was diagnosed in 18 infants (35%). Infants who developed UCP more often had involvement of the CST and BGT on neonatal MRI and had lower contralesional HAI EaHS compared to those who did not develop UCP. The final model showed excellent accuracy for UCP prediction between 3.5 and 4.5 months (area under the curve, AUC = 0.980; 95% CI 0.95-1.00).
CONCLUSIONS : Combining neonatal MRI, the HAI, gestational age and sex accurately identify the prognostic risk of UCP at 3.5-4.5 months in infants with APBI.


Brain imaging,Clinical assessment,Early diagnosis,Hand asymmetry,Hand function,Unilateral cerebral palsy,