Developmental outcome of isolated fetal microcephaly

S. Stoler-Poria, D. Lev, A. Schweiger, T. Lerman-Sagie, G. Malinger*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: To assess the neurodevelopmental outcome of children with prenatally diagnosed isolated microcephaly defined as head circumference more than 2 SD below the gestational mean. Methods: Children aged 2-6 years who had been diagnosed in utero as having head circumference measurements more than 2 SD below the gestational mean were compared with normocephalic children, utilizing a standard neuropsychological battery. Comparisons were also made within the study group. Results: HCs were between -2 and -4.8 SD, only one fetus having a HC below -3 SD. Children with a prenatal head circumference between 2 SD and 3 SD below the gestational mean did not differ significantly from the control group regarding cognitive, language and motor functioning. However, they exhibited more behavioral-emotional problems. There were no significant differences between children who had suffered from intrauterine growth restriction and those who had not, or between those with familial and those with non-familial microcephaly. Nevertheless, linear regression analysis showed that head circumference in utero helps predict cognitive functioning later in life. Conclusion: s Prenatally diagnosed head circumference between 2 SD and 3 SD below the gestational mean is not a risk factor for later abnormal neuropsychological development.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)154-158
Number of pages5
JournalUltrasound in Obstetrics and Gynecology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 2010


  • Brain
  • Fetal CNS
  • Head circumference
  • Microcephaly
  • Neurodevelopmental outcome
  • Neuropsychological outcome
  • Prenatal diagnosis
  • Third trimester
  • Ultrasound


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