Reliability of a novel, semi-quantitative scale for classification of structural brain magnetic resonance imaging in children with cerebral palsy

Simona Fiori, Giovanni Cioni, Katrjin Klingels, Els Ortibus, Leen Van Gestel, Stephen Rose, Roslyn N. Boyd, Hilde Feys, Andrea Guzzetta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Aim: To describe the development of a novel rating scale for classification of brain structural magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in children with cerebral palsy (CP) and to assess its interrater and intrarater reliability. Method: The scale consists of three sections. Section 1 contains descriptive information about the patient and MRI. Section 2 contains the graphical template of brain hemispheres onto which the lesion is transposed. Section 3 contains the scoring system for the quantitative analysis of the lesion characteristics, grouped into different global scores and subscores that assess separately side, regions, and depth. A larger interrater and intrarater reliability study was performed in 34 children with CP (22 males, 12 females; mean age at scan of 9y 5mo [SD 3y 3mo], range 4y-16y 11mo; Gross Motor Function Classification System level I, [n=22], II [n=10], and level III [n=2]). Results: Very high interrater and intrarater reliability of the total score was found with indices above 0.87. Reliability coefficients of the lobar and hemispheric subscores ranged between 0.53 and 0.95. Global scores for hemispheres, basal ganglia, brain stem, and corpus callosum showed reliability coefficients above 0.65. Interpretation: This study presents the first visual, semi-quantitative scale for classification of brain structural MRI in children with CP. The high degree of reliability of the scale supports its potential application for investigating the relationship between brain structure and function and examining treatment response according to brain lesion severity in children with CP.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)839-845
Number of pages7
JournalDevelopmental Medicine and Child Neurology
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2014


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Developmental Neuroscience

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