UNLABELLED: The purpose of the study was to conduct a nutritional and metabolic assessment of children with cerebral palsy, including an investigation of liver status, body composition, and bone mineral density. In this cross-sectional study we included 22 children with cerebral palsy. By using ultrasound, transient elastography, dual x-ray absorptiometry (DXA) scan, blood samples, anthropometric measurements, and a three-day diet registration, the nutritional and metabolic status was evaluated. Liver fibrosis and steatosis were found in four patients (18.2%), all with severe motor impairments, low skeletal muscle mass, and epilepsy. All patients with liver involvement had normal liver-related blood samples. Decreased bone mineral density was found in 26.3%, and 91.0% had low skeletal muscle mass. Fat mass and muscle mass were significantly lower in the patients with severe motor impairments compared to the patients with less severe motor impairments. Within the children classified as 'underweight' or 'normal' according to body mass index, body fat determined by DXA scan was normal or high in 50% of these patients.

CONCLUSIONS: This study is the first to report liver fibrosis and steatosis in children with cerebral palsy. Possible causes of liver fibrosis and/or steatosis are altered body composition with low skeletal muscle mass, decreased mobility and medical drug intake. Further investigations of liver involvement and risk factors are needed.

WHAT IS KNOWN: • Children and adolescents with cerebral palsy are at risk of malnutrition and altered body composition, both of which can lead to fatty liver disease. • It is unknown whether children with cerebral palsy are at increased risk of metabolic disturbances such as fatty liver disease.

WHAT IS NEW: • Altered body composition and low skeletal muscle mass, regardless of ambulation is present in 91% of the children with cerebral palsy. • Liver fibrosis and/or steatosis were found in 18.2% of the patients. Possible causes are altered body composition, decreased mobility and medical drug intake.

TidsskriftEuropean Journal of Pediatrics
Udgave nummer11
Sider (fra-til)5047-5055
Antal sider9
StatusUdgivet - nov. 2023


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