The neurological outcomes of cerebellar injury in premature infants

Satoru Kobayashi, Keisuke Wakusawa, Takehiko Inui, Soichiro Tanaka, Yasuko Kobayashi, Akira Onuma, Kazuhiro Haginoya

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Aim: Cerebellar injury is a characteristic injury associated with preterm infants. However, the impact of cerebellar injury on the development of preterm infants is unclear. Method: We reviewed magnetic resonance image studies of preterm infants with cerebral palsy retrospectively and evaluated the developmental outcomes. Results: Cerebellar injury was recognized in 9 (2.4%) of 381 patients with cerebral palsy who were born preterm. The median gestational age was 26 (range 23-32) weeks and the median birth weight was 938 (range 492-1450) g. Seven of the nine patients had severe symmetric injuries to the inferior cerebellar hemispheres, resulting in a pancake-like appearance of the residual upper cerebellum. Supratentorial lesions were also recognized: periventricular leukomalacia in seven; atrophy of the basal ganglia in two; and intraventricular hemorrhage in two. Importantly, the motor dysfunction was related to the reduction in the white matter volume and severity of basal ganglia atrophy, but not to the cerebellar injury. Four of the nine patients could walk without limitations despite extensive cerebellar disruption. Only four patients could speak meaningful words during the study and only one spoke two-word sentences. Interpretation: The patients with cerebellar injury might have a communication handicap, rather than altered motor function. Prematurity-related cerebellar complications require more attention in terms of cognitive and speech function, in addition to neuromotor development.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)858-863
Number of pages6
JournalBrain and Development
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2015 Oct 1


  • Cerebellar injury
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Magnetic resonance image
  • Preterm infants

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Developmental Neuroscience
  • Clinical Neurology


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