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AIM: To develop and evaluate a classification system for magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) findings of children with cerebral palsy (CP) that can be used in CP registers. METHOD: The classification system was based on pathogenic patterns occurring in different periods of brain development. The MRI classification system (MRICS) consists of five main groups: maldevelopments, predominant white matter injury, predominant grey matter injury, miscellaneous, and normal findings. A detailed manual for the descriptions of these patterns was developed, including test cases ( A literature review was performed and MRICS was compared with other classification systems. An exercise was carried out to check applicability and interrater reliability. Professionals working with children with CP or in CP registers were invited to participate in the exercise and chose to classify either 18 MRIs or MRI reports of children with CP. RESULTS: Classification systems in the literature were compatible with MRICS and harmonization possible. Interrater reliability was found to be good overall (k=0.69; 0.54-0.82) among the 41 participants and very good (k=0.81; 0.74-0.92) using the classification based on imaging reports. INTERPRETATION: Surveillance of Cerebral Palsy in Europe (SCPE) proposes the MRICS as a reliable tool. Together with its manual it is simple to apply for CP registers.

Original publication




Journal article


Dev Med Child Neurol

Publication Date





57 - 64


Brain, Cerebral Palsy, Child, Child, Preschool, Databases, Bibliographic, Female, Humans, Image Processing, Computer-Assisted, Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Male, Registries, Reproducibility of Results, Severity of Illness Index