Ventriculomegaly is a condition in which the lateral ventricles of the brain (the fluid-filled spaces) appear larger than normal. It can be detected at the second-trimester ultrasound, and occurs in about one in 1,000 births. There is not a singular cause of ventriculomegaly, but it is common in conjunction with hydrocephalus and several fetal abnormalities.
Ventriculomegaly is considered “isolated” when there are no other anomalies present (other than those that are a result of the ventrical enlargement). When ventriculomegaly exceeds 15 mm, there are often other abnormalities present, such as neural tube defects, Chiari malformations, Dandy Walker syndrome, agenesis of the corpus callosum, hydrocephalus or certain genetic syndromes.
Macrocephaly, or enlarged head, may accompany ventriculomegaly. Enlarged ventricles can decrease the surrounding brain tissue, and can be associated with brain damage and abnormal development.
Frequently, if ventricularmegaly is detected, further study (in the form of a Level II ultrasound and fetal MRI) will be ordered.
For more information on ventriculomegaly, visit:
- UCFS Fetal Treatment Center – Ventriculomegaly
- Boston Children’s Hospital – Ventriculomegaly
- Up-To-Date.com – Ventriculomegaly
- NCBI – Significance of fetal ventriculomegaly