Cerebral palsy in Moldova: subtypes, severity and associated impairments


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BMC Pediatrics;18:332



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Background: Moldova is ranked as one of the countries in Europe with the lowest income per capita and with a relatively high infant and maternal mortality rate. Information on neurodisabilities in general is limited, and regarding cerebral palsy (CP) in particular, it is completely lacking. The aim of this study was therefore to make a crude estimate of the prevalence of CP and to describe subtypes and the severity of motor impairments and associated problems in this country. Methods: Children with CP born 2009–2010, attending the National Hospital Institute of Mother and Child, the reference hospital for ~75% of children in Moldova with neurological disabilities, were identified from medical records. Results: Among 207 children with CP (estimated prevalence 3.4 per 1000 live births), 185 (mean age 7.3 years; 36% girls) had detailed information. Thirty seven (20%) children had spastic unilateral, 113 (61%) spastic bilateral, 22 (12%) dyskinetic and 9 (5%) children had ataxic CP. The subtype was unclassified in four children. Among all children, 93 (51%) had epilepsy, 109 (59%) intellectual disability, 42 (23%) severe vision and 10 (5%) hearing impairments while 84 (45%) children had severe speech impairments. Fifty-two (28%) children were born prematurely, and 46 (25%) had Apgar scores below 7 at five minutes. Conclusion: Compared to other European studies, the distribution of CP subtypes was different in Moldova. Moreover, the estimated prevalence, the proportions with severe motor and associated impairments and of children born at term were higher in Moldova while the proportion with low Apgar did not differ. The findings may suggest different etiological pathways causing CP in Moldova than in other European countries. A national register is warranted for quality assurance and improvement.




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  • https://hdl.handle.net/10642/6975