Evaluation and diagnosis of cerebral palsy
- Marc C Patterson, MD, FRACP
Marc C Patterson, MD, FRACP
- Section Editor — Pediatric Neurology
- Professor of Neurology, Pediatrics, and Medical Genetics
- Chair, Division of Child and Adolescent Neurology
- Mayo Clinic College of Medicine
Cerebral palsy (CP) is a heterogeneous group of clinical syndromes that range in severity and are characterized by abnormal muscle tone, posture, and movement. These conditions are due to abnormalities of the developing brain resulting from a variety of causes. Although the disorder itself is not progressive, the clinical expression may change over time as the brain matures.
The evaluation and diagnosis of CP are discussed here. The epidemiology, etiology, classification, clinical features, management, and prevention of CP are discussed separately:
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- History and physical examination
- Findings suggesting an alternative diagnosis
- Diagnostic evaluation
- - Neuroimaging
- - Electroencephalography
- - Lumbar puncture
- - Metabolic and genetic testing
- - Screening for thrombophilia
- - Examination of the placenta
- Screening for associated conditions
- - Intellectual disability
- - Vision impairment
- - Hearing impairment
- - Speech and language impairment
- - Nutrition and growth
- DIFFERENTIAL DIAGNOSIS
- Muscle weakness
- Spastic diplegia or quadriplegia
- Dystonia and choreoathetosis
- INFORMATION FOR PATIENTS
- SUMMARY AND RECOMMENDATIONS