Fetal cerebral ventriculomegaly: What do we tell the prospective parents?

Veronica Giorgione, Karina Krajden Haratz, Shlomi Constantini, Roee Birnbaum, Gustavo Malinger*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Fetal cerebral ventriculomegaly is a relatively common finding, observed during approximately 1% of obstetric ultrasounds. In the second and third trimester, mild (≥10 mm) and severe ventriculomegaly (≥15 mm) are defined according to the measurement of distal lateral ventricles that is included in the routine sonographic examination of central nervous system. A detailed neurosonography and anatomy ultrasound should be performed to detect other associated anomalies in the central nervous system and in other systems, respectively. Fetal MRI might be useful when neurosonography is unavailable or suboptimal. The risk of chromosomal and non-chromosomal genetic disorders associated with ventriculomegaly is high, therefore invasive genetic testing, including microarray, is recommended. Screening for prenatal infections, in particular cytomegalovirus and toxoplasmosis, should also be carried out at diagnosis. The prognosis is determined by the severity of ventriculomegaly and/or by the presence of co-existing abnormalities. Fetal ventriculoamniotic shunting in progressive isolated severe ventriculomegaly is an experimental procedure. After delivery, ventricular-peritoneal shunting or ventriculostomy are the two available options to treat hydrocephalus in specific conditions with similar long-term outcomes. A multidisciplinary fetal neurology team, including perinatologists, geneticists, pediatric neurologists, neuroradiologists and neurosurgeons, can provide parents with the most thorough prenatal counseling. This review outlines the latest evidence on diagnosis and management of pregnancies complicated by fetal cerebral ventriculomegaly.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1674-1681
Number of pages8
JournalPrenatal Diagnosis
Issue number13
StatePublished - Dec 2022


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