Cerebellar Injury in Term Infants: Clinical Characteristics, Magnetic Resonance Imaging Findings, and Outcome

Catherine Limperopoulos, Richard L. Robertson, Nancy R. Sullivan, Haim Bassan, Adré J. du Plessis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Although cerebellar injury in the premature infant is an increasingly recognized form of neonatal brain injury, its structural and functional outcomes remain poorly defined in the term infant. The objective of this cross-sectional study was to characterize the clinical and magnetic resonance imaging features and neurodevelopmental outcome in children, born at term, with cerebellar injury. Over a 5-year period, 20 infants were identified with ischemic (n = 3) or hemorrhagic (n = 17) cerebellar injury. Lesions were small (<1 cm) in 12 cases, and large in 8 cases. Prenatal and intrapartum factors frequently documented in term infants with cerebellar injury included primiparity (55%), advanced maternal age (30%), group B streptococcus-positive mothers (35%), abnormal fetal heart rate (35%), instrumented delivery (30%), and cesarean section (25%). At follow-up of 18 cases (median age, 32 months), 39% had neurologic abnormalities. Gross motor delays, expressive language deficits, and externalizing behavioral problems were the most common (44%). Cognitive deficits were present in one third of cases. Larger cerebellar lesions were associated with significantly lower cognitive, gross motor, expressive language, and social-behavioral scores. Cerebellar injury in the term infant is associated with a broad spectrum of neurodevelopmental disabilities, particularly in infants with large cerebellar lesions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-8
Number of pages8
JournalPediatric Neurology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 2009
Externally publishedYes


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