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AAN Guidelines for Cerebral Palsy

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Practice Parameter: Diagnostic Assessment of the Child with Cerebral Palsy (CP) :

Practice Parameter: Diagnostic Assessment of the Child with Cerebral Palsy (CP) Report of the Quality Standards Subcommittee of the American Academy of Neurology and the Practice Committee of the Child Neurology Society S Ashwal MD, BS Russman MD, PA Blasco D, Miller MD, A Sandler MD, M Shevell MD, R Stevenson MD Published in Neurology 2004; 62:851-863

Objective of the guideline:

Objective of the guideline To review data regarding the value and role of diagnostic tests used to evaluate children diagnosed as having CP. To review evidence regarding the prevalence of associated problems such as epilepsy, mental retardation, ophthalmologic and hearing impairments and the need for their systematic evaluation.

Methods of evidence review:

Methods of evidence review Medline, CINAHL and Healthstar databases were searched for relevant articles published from 1966-2002. ±350 titles and abstracts reviewed for content on etiology of CP. Excluded if the tests were not to establish etiology. Articles were abstracted and classified by a committee member. Used four-tiered classification scheme to determine the yield of established diagnostic and screening tests (developed by QSS).

AAN’s Class of evidence for determining the yield of established diagnostic and screening tests:

AAN’s Class of evidence for determining the yield of established diagnostic and screening tests Class I: A statistical, population-based sample of patients studied at a uniform point in time (usually early) during the course of the condition. All patients undergo the intervention of interest. The outcome, if not objective, is determined in an evaluation that is masked to the patients’ clinical presentations. Class II: A statistical, non-referral-clinic-based sample of patients studied at a uniform point in time (usually early) during the course of the condition. Most (>80%) patients undergo the intervention of interest. The outcome, if not objective, is determined in an evaluation that is masked to the patients’ clinical presentations.

AAN’s Class of evidence for determining the yield of established diagnostic and screening tests:

AAN’s Class of evidence for determining the yield of established diagnostic and screening tests Class III: A selected, referral-clinic-based sample of patients studied during the course of the condition. Some patients undergo the intervention of interest. The outcome, if not objective, is determined in an evaluation by someone other than the treating physician. Class IV: E xpert opinion, case reports or any study not meeting criteria for class I to III.

AAN’s Recommendation levels :

AAN’s Recommendation levels A = Established as useful/predictive or not useful/predictive for the given condition in the specified population. B = Probably useful/predictive or not useful/predictive for the given condition in the specified population. C = Possibly useful/predictive or not useful/predictive for the given condition in the specified population. U = Data inadequate or conflicting. Given current knowledge, test, predictor is unproven.

Introduction:

Introduction Prevalence Worldwide incidence of CP is approximately 2 to 2.5 per 1000 live births. Each year about 10,000 babies born in the US develop CP. Data from the Northern Ireland Cerebral Palsy Registry revealed that ½ the children with CP were of low birth weight (i.e., less than 2500 grams).

Introduction:

Introduction Impact on patients: Children with CP may: Be unable to walk with or without aids Use assistive devices such as braces, walkers, or wheelchairs to help develop or maintain mobility Have at least one other disability such as sensory impairment or seizures and have other disabilities, primarily mental retardation Need specialized medical care, educational & social services, & other help throughout their lives from their family & communities

Introduction:

Introduction Economic Impact: A California study (1992) of the extra economic costs associated with CP and 17 other congenital disorders (e.g., Down syndrome, spina bifida) showed that CP had the highest lifetime costs per new case, averaging $503,000 in 1992 dollars.

Clinical Question:

Clinical Question

Question #1::

Question #1: Should neuroimaging be routinely obtained in the child with CP?

Analysis of the evidence:

Analysis of the evidence

Analysis of the evidence Neuroimaging:

Analysis of the evidence Neuroimaging In neonates, neuroimaging is frequently obtained when: There is a history of complications during pregnancy, labor and delivery The infant is born very prematurely (<32 weeks) Neurological symptoms or findings are present on neonatal examination

Analysis of the evidence - Neuroimaging:

Analysis of the evidence - Neuroimaging Data of children who underwent either CT or MRI scans (n=1464) indicated an abnormality in 62% to 100% of individuals (mean for CT, 77%; for MRI, 89%). 88% of children in class I studies (n= 238) had abnormal scans for the combined CT and MRI 77% of patients in a class II study (n=22) had abnormal scans 83% of children in class III studies (n=1204) had abnormal scans

Analysis of the evidence Computed tomography:

Analysis of the evidence Computed tomography Data from 782 children with CP who had CT scans found abnormalities in 77% (range 62% to 93%). For the class I studies (n= 140), 86% of children had abnormal scans In class III studies (n=642) 78% of patients had abnormal scans There were no class II studies.

Analysis of the evidence Overall yield of finding an abnormal CT scans in children with cerebral palsy :

Analysis of the evidence Overall yield of finding an abnormal CT scans in children with cerebral palsy Reference Class N % Abnormal Wiklund, et al., 1991 I 83 73 Wiklund, et at., 1991 I 28 75 Miller & Cala , 1989 I 29 62

Analysis of the evidence Overall yield of finding an abnormal CT scans in children with cerebral palsy :

Analysis of the evidence Overall yield of finding an abnormal CT scans in children with cerebral palsy Reference Class N % Abnormal Chen, 1981 III 281 84 Kolawale et al., 1989 III 120 73 Taudorf and Melchior,1984 III 83 67 Schouman-Claeys et al.,1989 III 76 63 Cohen and Duffner, 1981 III 52 87 Molteni et al., 1987 III 30 93

Conclusions:

Conclusions

Conclusions Computed tomography:

Conclusions Computed tomography Data from three class I and six class III studies indicate that the yield of finding an abnormal CT scan in a child with CP is high (average of 77%) and related to the type of CP. Scan abnormalities may determine an etiology in many children but there were insufficient data to assess this further. Scan abnormalities may occasionally (5% to 22%) identify treatable conditions and may suggest an increased risk for associated conditions such as mental retardation and epilepsy.

Analysis of the evidence:

Analysis of the evidence

Analysis of the evidence Magnetic resonance imaging:

Analysis of the evidence Magnetic resonance imaging Data from studies involving 682 children with CP who had MRI scans found abnormalities in 89% (range 68% to 100%). 92% of children in the two class I studies (n= 98) had abnormal scans 77% of patients in one class II study (n=22) had abnormal scans 89% of children in the class III studies (n=562) had abnormal scans

Analysis of the evidence Overall yield of finding an abnormal MRI scans in children with cerebral palsy :

Analysis of the evidence Overall yield of finding an abnormal MRI scans in children with cerebral palsy Reference Class N % Abnormal Krageloh-Mann et al., 1995 I 56 91 Yin et al, 2000 I 42 91 Candy et al., 1993 II 22 77

Analysis of the evidence Overall yield of finding an abnormal MRI scans in children with cerebral palsy :

Analysis of the evidence Overall yield of finding an abnormal MRI scans in children with cerebral palsy Reference Class N % Abnormal Okumara, 1997, pt 2 III 152 78 Cioni et al., 1999 III 91 100 Jaw et al., 1998 III 86 95 Sugimoto et al., 1995 III 70 100 Hayakawa et al., 1996 III 63 79 Truwit et al., 1992 III 40 93 Yamada et al., 1993 III 38 100 Yokochi et al., 1991 III 22 68

Conclusions:

Conclusions

Conclusions Neuroimaging:

Conclusions Neuroimaging Data from two class I , one class II and eight class III studies indicate that the yield of finding an abnormal MRI scan in a child with CP is very high (average of 89%) and greater than that reported using CT (77%). MRI is more likely to be abnormal in cases of CP associated with prematurity, showing abnormalities such as periventricular leukomalacia compared to infants born at term. An etiology of CP can be determined in many patients based on the results of neuroimaging in combination with clinical history.

Recommendations:

Recommendations

Recommendations Neuroimaging:

Recommendations Neuroimaging Neuroimaging is recommended in the evaluation of a child with CP if the etiology has not been established, for example by perinatal imaging (Level A, Class I and II evidence). MRI, when available, is preferred to CT scanning because of the higher yield of suggesting an etiology and timing of insult leading to CP (Level A, Class I -III evidence).

Clinical Question:

Clinical Question

Question #2::

Question #2: Should metabolic or genetic testing be routinely ordered in children with CP?

Analysis of the evidence:

Analysis of the evidence

Analysis of the evidence Metabolic or genetic testing :

Analysis of the evidence M etabolic or genetic testing Data from two class I, 13 class II and four class III studies on 1384 children with CP who underwent neuroimaging (CT or MRI) and who also had metabolic and genetic testing indicate that it is rare to identify an underlying metabolic or genetic disorder .

Analysis of the evidence Metabolic or genetic testing :

Analysis of the evidence M etabolic or genetic testing The mean incidence of metabolic (4%) and genetic disorders (2%) in those children who had CT scans was slightly higher than with MRI (metabolic, 0%; genetic, 1.3%). Results did not vary substantially between the different classes of studies.

Analysis of the evidence Metabolic or genetic testing :

Analysis of the evidence M etabolic or genetic testing Children with CP may have congenital brain malformations. Data from the same group of 1464 children found that 7% of patients who had a CT scan and 11% of those who underwent MRI had major brain malformations. Malformations are associated with specific genetic disorders, their presence in affected children indicates the need for further genetic testing.

Conclusions:

Conclusions

Conclusions Metabolic or genetic testing :

Conclusions M etabolic or genetic testing Metabolic or genetic causes for CP occur infrequently (i.e., 0-4%). In almost all such cases, there are atypical complaints - history of a progressive rather than a static encephalopathy, - Neuroimaging representative of genetic or metabolic disorders, - family history of childhood neurologic disorder with associated CP.

Conclusions Metabolic or genetic testing :

Conclusions M etabolic or genetic testing Neuroimaging studies have shown that 7-11% of children with CP will have a brain malformation suggesting additional risk for genetic and possibly a metabolic etiology.

Recommendations:

Recommendations

Recommendations Metabolic or genetic testing :

Recommendations M etabolic or genetic testing Metabolic and genetic studies need not be routinely obtained in the evaluation of the child with CP (Level B, Class II and III evidence). If the clinical history or findings on Neuroimaging do not determine a specific structural abnormality or if there are additional and atypical features in the history or clinical examination, metabolic and genetic testing should be considered (Level C, Class III and IV).

Recommendations Metabolic or genetic testing :

Recommendations M etabolic or genetic testing Detection of a brain malformation in a child with CP warrants consideration of an underlying genetic or metabolic etiology (Level C, Class III and IV evidence).

Clinical Question:

Clinical Question

Question #3::

Question #3: Should coagulation studies be performed in children with CP?

Analysis of the evidence:

Analysis of the evidence

Analysis of the evidence Coagulation studies :

Analysis of the evidence C oagulation studies Patients with hemiplegic CP frequently have suffered a prenatal or perinatal cerebral infarction. Children often have a coagulopathy, congenital heart disease or an infectious process as the etiology of stroke. Data from three CT studies (n=196) found Cerebrovascular occlusion, usually in the middle cerebral artery distribution, in 13%,32%, and 37% of individuals.

Analysis of the evidence Coagulation studies :

Analysis of the evidence C oagulation studies One class I study and several class II studies have reported coagulation abnormalities as the etiology of neonatal cerebral infarction. These have included Factor V Leiden deficiency, the presence of anti-cardiolipin or anti-phospholipid antibodies and Protein C or S deficiency.

Analysis of the evidence Coagulation studies :

Analysis of the evidence C oagulation studies One class III study and several class IV case reports have also described the relation between neonatal cerebral infarction, coagulopathies and a later diagnosis of hemiplegic CP.

Conclusions:

Conclusions

Conclusions Coagulation studies :

Conclusions C oagulation studies Class I-III evidence indicates that cerebral infarction due to pre- or perinatal cerebrovascular occlusion occurs in 13% to 37% of children with hemiplegic CP. Class II and III evidence suggests an etiology of cerebral infarction in this population may be due to a coagulation disorder. The yield of testing will be higher if done in the neonatal period rather than if the child is evaluated later at the time of diagnosis of CP.

Conclusions Coagulation studies :

Conclusions C oagulation studies There is insufficient evidence regarding the relation between coagulation disorders and other forms of CP.

Recommendations:

Recommendations

Recommendations Coagulation studies :

Recommendations C oagulation studies Because the incidence of unexplained cerebral infarction seen with neuroimaging is high in children with hemiplegic CP, diagnostic testing for a coagulation disorder should be considered (Level B, Class II-III evidence). There is insufficient evidence to be precise as to what studies should be ordered.

Clinical Question:

Clinical Question

Question #4::

Question #4: What evaluations for associated conditions should be performed in the child with CP?

Analysis of the evidence:

Analysis of the evidence

Analysis of the evidence Associated conditions :

Analysis of the evidence A ssociated conditions Children with CP often have associated conditions (i.e., mental retardation or epilepsy that are equal in severity to their motor impairment). Due to the motor difficulties associated with CP, these conditions may not be readily recognize. There is evidence that early intervention and referral to an interdisciplinary team should be considered so that associated problems will be addressed in a comprehensive and coordinated manner.

Analysis of the evidence Associated conditions :

Analysis of the evidence A ssociated conditions Data from three class I and one class II studies of children with CP (n = 327) summarize the frequency of some of the major associated conditions that occur in children with CP. Incidences of mental retardation (52%),epilepsy (45%), ophthalmologic defects (28%), speech and language disorders (38%), and hearing impairment (12%) are significant. Data also suggest that those children who have abnormal neuroimaging are more likely to have one or more of these deficits and in some of the studies severity of scan findings was associated with the severity of deficit.

Analysis of the evidence Associated conditions in children with cerebral palsy :

Analysis of the evidence Associated conditions in children with cerebral palsy Study Class N % MR % Visual % Speech Language % Hearing Zafeiriou et al., 1999 I 493 40% 39% 54% 15% Murphy et al., 1993 I 204 65% 10% NA 4% von Wendt et al.,1985 I 69 70% 19% NA 7% Kolawale et al., 1989 III 120 66% 15% 59% 14%

Analysis of the evidence Associated conditions MR:

Analysis of the evidence Associated conditions MR Cognitive and neuropsychological function in children with CP are commonly impaired. Children with different forms of CP may be difficult to assess because of motor deficits & in some forms of CP (e.g. spastic diplegia). Differences between performance and verbal intelligence test scores actually increase with age. There is a strong association between greater intellectual impairment in children with CP and the presence of epilepsy, an abnormal EEG or an abnormal neuroimaging study.

Analysis of the evidence Associated conditions ophthalmologic Impairments:

Analysis of the evidence Associated conditions ophthalmologic Impairments Visual impairments and disorders of ocular motility are common (28%) in children with CP. There is an increased presence of strabismus, amblyopia, nystagmus, optic atrophy, and refractive errors. Many of these difficulties should be detected if currently accepted guidelines for vision screening in children with CP are employed.

Analysis of the evidence Associated conditions speech & language disorders:

Analysis of the evidence Associated conditions speech & language disorders Because of bilateral corticobulbar dysfunction in many CP syndromes, speech and other impairments related to oral-motor dysfunction are common. Language (as opposed to speech) deficits in CP go hand in hand with verbal intellectual limitations associated with mental retardation. Oral-motor problems including feeding difficulties, swallowing dysfunction and drooling may lead to potential serious impacts on nutrition and growth, oral health respiration and self-esteem.

Analysis of the evidence Associated conditions hearing impairment :

Analysis of the evidence Associated conditions hearing impairment Hearing impairment occurs in approximately 12% of children with CP. Occurs more commonly if the etiology of CP is related to very low birth weight, kernicterus, neonatal meningitis or severe hypoxic-ischemic insults. Children with CP who have MR or abnormal neuroimaging studies are at greater risk for hearing impairment.

Analysis of the evidence Associated conditions epilepsy:

Analysis of the evidence Associated conditions epilepsy Should EEG be routinely performed in the assessment of children with CP? Due to higher frequency of epilepsy in children with CP, EEG is often considered during the initial evaluation. Majority of research on EEG and CP are class III and IV studies that describe the frequency and types of seizures in children with different forms of CP but do not address the role of EEG in determining the etiology of CP or in predicting the development of seizures in a child with CP.

Analysis of the evidence Associated conditions epilepsy:

Analysis of the evidence Associated conditions epilepsy Data from studies involving children with CP (n=1918) found on average that 43% (range 35 to 62%) of children develop epilepsy. In three Class I studies (n= 302) 48% had epilepsy In eight class II studies (n=1407) 42% of the children had epilepsy In the class III studies (n=209) 43% had epilepsy No evidence that the EEG was useful in determining the etiology of the child’s CP.

Analysis of the evidence Associated conditions epilepsy:

Analysis of the evidence Associated conditions epilepsy Children with CP who have abnormal neuroimaging studies are more likely to have epilepsy. One class I and two class II CT studies have examined the association between CT findings and epilepsy 54% percent of children with CP and an abnormal CT had epilepsy 27% of those who had a normal scan had epilepsy In one study, EEG abnormalities were also much more commonly found in those children with an abnormal CT scan.

Conclusions:

Conclusions

Conclusions Associated conditions epilepsy:

Conclusions Associated conditions epilepsy Approximately 45% of children with CP develop epilepsy. In none of the retrospective studies involving 2014 children was there evidence that the EEG was useful in determining the etiology of the child’s CP. There is no evidence to make any recommendation whether an EEG should be ordered to screen for epileptiform abnormalities for the child with CP who does not have a history of seizures.

Conclusions Associated conditions :

Conclusions Associated conditions Children with CP are more likely to have associated conditions including mental retardation, ophthalmologic defects, hearing impairment and speech, and language disorders and additional oral-motor deficits. There is no evidence that an EEG is helpful determining the etiology of CP.

Recommendations:

Recommendations

Recommendations Associated conditions:

Recommendations Associated conditions An EEG should not be obtained for the purpose of determining the etiology of CP (Level A; class I and II evidence). An EEG should be obtained when a child with CP has a history or examination features suggesting the presence of epilepsy or an epileptic syndrome (Level A; class I and II evidence).

Recommendations Associated conditions:

Recommendations Associated conditions Because of the high incidence of associated conditions, children with CP should be screened for mental retardation, ophthalmologic and hearing impairments, and speech and language disorders (Level A, class I and II evidence). Nutrition, growth, and other aspects of swallowing dysfunction should be monitored. Further specific evaluations are warranted if screening suggests areas of impairment.

Future Research Recommendations:

Future Research Recommendations

Future Research:

Future Research Prospective studies on the etiologic yields of genetic, metabolic and neuroimaging diagnostic tests should be undertaken in large numbers of young children with CP compared with control subjects. This would permit the development of specific diagnostic algorithms. Large prospective cohorts of children with CP should be studied to identify features based on CP subtypes that can improve specific evaluation strategies and enhance etiologic yield.

Future Research:

Future Research It should be determined at what age and on what basis we can be certain that a child has CP sufficient to justify testing and at what age the yield will be optimal. Strategies of conducting testing simultaneously or sequentially need to be assessed. This should reduce unnecessary testing and provide cost-effective evaluations (i.e., a favorable balance between the cost of testing vs. savings from early intervention, prevention of the birth of affected children, etc).

Future Research:

Future Research Studies are needed to better characterize speech and language, ophthalmologic, auditory, oral-motor, nutrition and growth deficits in children with CP. Investigation of the sensorimotor impairments of children with CP are also needed so that studies of early intervention therapies might be done to improve the overall function of children who are likely to have multiple needs.

Future Research:

Future Research Issues related to quality of life and social support for families need further study. Included should be the benefits that medical testing confers by reducing parental concerns related to determining an etiology and by providing important information regarding prognosis, genetic counseling, and planning future educational and treatment needs. Future research should also be directed to determine the underlying mechanisms causing CP that are associated with perinatal stroke, coagulopathies, genetic disorders, pre- and perinatal inflammatory diseases, and environmental factors.

Summary of AAN recommendations Diagnostic Assessment of the Child with Cerebral Palsy :

Summary of AAN recommendations Diagnostic Assessment of the Child with Cerebral Palsy Neuroimaging is recommended in the evaluation of a child with CP if the etiology has not been established, for example by perinatal imaging (Level A, class I and II evidence). MRI, when available, is preferred to CT scanning because of the higher yield of suggesting an etiology and timing of insult leading to CP (Level A, class I -III evidence). Metabolic and genetic studies should not be routinely obtained in the evaluation of the child with CP (Level B, class II and III evidence).

Summary of AAN recommendations Diagnostic Assessment of the Child with Cerebral Palsy :

Summary of AAN recommendations Diagnostic Assessment of the Child with Cerebral Palsy If the clinical history or findings on neuroimaging do not determine a specific structural abnormality or if there are additional and atypical features in the history or clinical examination, metabolic and genetic testing should be considered (Level C, class III and IV). Detection of a brain malformation in a child with CP warrants consideration of an underlying genetic or metabolic etiology (Level C, class III and IV evidence).

Summary of AAN recommendations Diagnostic Assessment of the Child with Cerebral Palsy :

Summary of AAN recommendations Diagnostic Assessment of the Child with Cerebral Palsy Because the incidence of unexplained cerebral infarction seen with neuroimaging is high in children with hemiplegic CP, diagnostic testing for a coagulation disorder should be considered (Level B, Class II-III evidence). There is insufficient evidence to be precise as to what studies should be ordered. An EEG should not be obtained for the purpose of determining the etiology of CP (Level A; Class I and II evidence).

Summary of AAN recommendations Diagnostic Assessment of the Child with Cerebral Palsy :

Summary of AAN recommendations Diagnostic Assessment of the Child with Cerebral Palsy An EEG should be obtained when a child with CP has a history or examination features suggesting the presence of epilepsy or an epileptic syndrome (Level A; Class I and II evidence). Because of the high incidence of associated conditions, children with CP should be screened for mental retardation, ophthalmologic and hearing impairments, and speech and language disorders (Level A, Class I and II evidence). Nutrition, growth, and other aspects of swallowing dysfunction should be monitored. Further specific evaluations are warranted if screening suggests areas of impairment.

To view the entire guideline and additional AAN guidelines visit: :

To view the entire guideline and additional AAN guidelines visit: www.aan.com/professionals/practice/index.cfm. Published in Neurology 2004; 62:851-863

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