Cerebral palsy and fetal inflammatory response syndrome: A review

Asher Bashiri, Eliezer Burstein, Moshe Mazor

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

    146 Scopus citations


    Cerebral palsy (CP) is the most common cause of severe physical disability in childhood. The precise etiological factor for the development of the majority of cases of CP has not been identified, however, prematurity is considered to be the leading identifiable risk factor. During the last decade, intrauterine infection/inflamation has been identified as the most common cause of pre-term delivery and neonatal complications. When microorganisms or their products gain access to the fetus they stimulate the production of cytokines and a systemic response termed FIRS (Fetal Inflammatory Response Syndrome). Subsequently, FIRS was implicated as a cause of fetal or neonatal injury that leads to CP and chronic lung disease. Several authors found an increase in the risk for CP in infants born to mothers with clinical chorioamnionitis, especially in preterm neonates. A relationship between CP and intra-amniotic inflammation was demonstrated, intrauterine infection may lead to activation of the cytokine network which in turn can cause white matter brain damage and preterm delivery, as well as the future development of CR This white matter insult is identified clinically as periventricular leucomalacia (PVL) which is associated with the subsequent development of impaired neurological outcomes of variable severity including CR.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)5-12
    Number of pages8
    JournalJournal of Perinatal Medicine
    Issue number1
    StatePublished - 12 Jan 2006


    • Cerebral palsy (CP)
    • Fetal inflammatory response syndrome (FIRS)
    • Intrauterine infection
    • Preterm delivery
    • Pro-inflammatory cytokines

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
    • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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