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Plasma Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha (TNF-α) Levels Correlate with Disease Severity in Spastic Diplegia, Triplegia, and Quadriplegia in Children with Cerebral Palsy

Jianxian Wu, Xueming Li

Department of Rehabilitation, The Second Affiliated Hospital of Anhui Medical University, Hefei, Anhui, China (mainland)

Med Sci Monit 2015; 21:3868-3874

DOI: 10.12659/MSM.895400

Available online:

Published: 2015-12-11


BACKGROUND: Inflammatory responses in utero and in neonates have been involved in the development of white matter lesions. This study aimed to investigate the role of tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α) in spastic cerebral palsy.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: Plasma TNF-α was measured by ELISA in 54 children with spastic cerebral palsy and 28 aged-matched controls. Both groups were split into age subgroups (1–3 vs. 4–12). Gross motor function and activities of daily living were assessed on enrollment and after 6 months of rehabilitation.
RESULTS: TNF-α was higher in patients with cerebral palsy than in controls in young (P<0.001) and older subjects (P<0.001). TNF-α levels were comparable in both control subgroups (P=0.819). Younger patients with cerebral palsy had significantly higher TNF-α levels compared with older ones (P<0.001). Pre-rehabilitation TNF-α levels correlated with improvements in activities of daily living after rehabilitation (P<0.001).
CONCLUSIONS: Children with cerebral palsy showed higher plasma levels of TNF-α than controls. In addition, pre-treatment TNF-α levels were correlated with the improvements after rehabilitation therapy.

Keywords: Child, Cerebral Palsy - physiopathology, Child, Preschool, Severity of Illness Index, Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha - blood



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