Journal article
Abnormalities of Vital Signs in Children with Cerebral Palsy

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Publication Details
Subtitle: Relationship to Physical Disabilities
Author list: Alaa I. Ibrahim, Qassim I. Muaidi and Ahmad A. Alghamde
Publisher: Springer Verlag (Germany)
Publication year: 2018
Volume number: 30
Issue number: 1
Start page: 55
End page: 67
Number of pages: 13
ISSN: 1056-263X
Web of Science ID: 000419940100005
PubMed ID:
Scopus ID: 85033460197
eISSN: 1573-3580

The autonomic functions of children with cerebral palsy (CP) have not been sufficiently explored, and corresponding abnormalities are underdiagnosed. In addition, studies evaluating the associations between autonomic dysfunctions and the different aspects of motor performance among these children are scarce. We aimed to investigate vital signs in children with CP and compare them to those of children with typical motor development (TMD) and to determine the associations of autonomic dysfunction with the demographic and clinical data and motor characteristics of these children. A convenience sample of 118 children with CP was evaluated in this cross-sectional study. A group of 69 matched children with TMD served as a control group. We measured the vital signs and key pinch and hand grip strengths of all children in the study. Vital signs were recorded while the children rested in a comfortable sitting position. Children with CP were evaluated for muscle tone and motor abilities. Systolic BP, diastolic BP, heart rate, and respiratory rate were significantly higher in children with CP than in children with TMD (p values of 0.03, 0.006, 0.02, and 0.001, respectively), while blood oxygen saturation and oral body temperature were significantly lower (p values of 0.00 and 0.003, respectively). We detected only weak to moderate correlations between some vital sign abnormalities and children with lower motor performance (diplegic and quadriplegic children, children with level IV or V on the gross motor function classification system (GMFCS), and children with low key pinch and hand grip strength). Children with CP had abnormalities in their vital signs at rest, reflecting a state of dysautonomia. Abnormalities included high systolic BP, diastolic BP, heart rate, and respiratory rate and low blood oxygen saturation and oral body temperature. Children with lower motor performance were at a greater risk of dysautonomia.

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Last updated on 2019-03-04 at 13:48