Morphological spectrum of prenatal cerebellar disruptions

Andrea Poretti, Daniela Prayer, Eugen Boltshauser

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

60 Scopus citations


There is increasing evidence that the cerebellum is susceptible to both prenatal infections and haemorrhages as well as being vulnerable in extremely preterm babies, but not to perinatal and postnatal hypoxic-ischaemic injuries. Starting with the imaging appearance we describe and illustrate a spectrum of prenatal cerebellar disruptions: cerebellar agenesis; unilateral cerebellar hypoplasia; unilateral cerebellar cleft; global cerebellar hypoplasia; vanishing cerebellum in myelomeningocele; and disruption of cerebellar development in preterm infants. We discuss neuroradiological characteristics, possible disruptive events, and clinical findings in the different morphological patterns. Remarkably, the same disruptive agent can cause different neuroradiological patterns, which appear likely to represent a morphological spectrum. The analysis of imaging patterns is crucial in recognising cerebellar disruptions. Recognition of cerebellar disruptions and their differentiation from cerebellar malformations is important in terms of diagnosis, prognosis, and genetic counselling.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)397-407
Number of pages11
JournalEuropean Journal of Paediatric Neurology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 2009


  • Cerebellar agenesis
  • Cerebellar disruption
  • Cerebellar hypoplasia
  • Neuroimaging
  • Unilateral cerebellar hypoplasia
  • Vanishing cerebellum

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Clinical Neurology


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