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This study aimed to investigate the relationship between the corticospinal tract (CST) and limb length discrepancy (LLD) in patients with hemiplegic cerebral palsy (CP). Using diffusion tensor tractography, a retrospective study on 92 pediatric patients with hemiplegic CP who visited our hospital from May 2017 to the end of 2020 was conducted. Limb length was measured by anthropometry to calculate LLD. The functional level of hemiplegia scale (FxL), modified Ashworth scale, and manual muscle test (MMT) were evaluated for clinical function. Patients were classified into two groups according to the presence or absence of disruption of the affected CST: disruption (A) and preservation (B) groups. Fractional anisotropy (FA) and mean diffusivity (MD) of the affected CSTs were measured and correlated with LLD. The results of the independent t-test and chi-square test did not show significant differences between the two groups, except in the FxL and finger extensor of MMT (p < 0.05). For the LLD, there were no significant differences in total upper, total lower, and foot limb lengths. A significant difference was observed only in hand LLD (p < 0.05) from ANCOVA. Hand LLD was significantly correlated with FA (r = −0.578), MD (r = 0.512), and degree of CST disruption (r = −0.946) from the Pearson correlation test. The results of this study suggested that patients with hemiplegic CP would likely have LLD especially in the hand, and that CST evaluation using diffusion tensor tractography might be helpful in assessing and predicting LLD in hemiplegic CP.


Hyo Sung Kim, Su Min Son. Limb Length Discrepancy and Corticospinal Tract Disruption in Hemiplegic Cerebral Palsy. Children (Basel, Switzerland). 2022 Aug 10;9(8)

PMID: 36010088

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