Click here to return to our home page   Perinatal Review -Cerebral Palsy

NHS Logo


Back to the list of reviews


Spastic Cerebral Palsies (75-80% of all CP)


  • affects one side of the body
  • accounts for 30-40% of spastic CP in various series
  • prenatal causes in about 75%
  • genetic/familial cases are rare but reported
  • 25% are preterm.


  • the legs are more severely affected than the arms
  • accounts for 20-40% of spastic CP in various series
  • 50% preterm, classically associated with periventricular leucomalacia
  • Other reported associations are PET (25%), APH (40%), abnormal labour or delivery or both (50%).
  • In a high proportion of patients no aetiological factor can be found.

Quadriplegia - (also called tetraplegia or bilateral hemiplegia):

  • All limbs affected
  • 5% preterm, 21% SGA
  • prenatal cause in 30%, perinatal in 16%, postnatal in 18% (Reference1).

Non-spastic Cerebral Palsies


  • 9% of all CP
  • High proportion with hyperbilirubinaemia + hypoxia, especially in developing countries
  • Athetosis and sensori-neural deafness common after kernicterus


  • 7% of all CP
  • prenatal factors are dominant but the pathogenetic mechanisms are unclear.

NB Many babies with cerebral palsy have a mixed picture


1. Edebol-Tysk, Hagberg G (1989) Epidemiology of Spastic Tetraplegia Cerebral Palsy in Sweden. 2. Prevalence Birth Data and Origin. Neuropaediatrics, 20: 46-52, (Abstract)

Previous Page  

© Perinatal Institute 2011