Abnormalities of the Fetal Central Nervous System: Prenatal US Diagnosis with Postnatal Correlation.

Journal Article (Journal Article;Review)

Fetal central nervous system (CNS) abnormalities are second only to cardiac malformations in their frequency of occurrence. Early and accurate diagnosis at prenatal US is therefore essential, allowing improved prenatal counseling and facilitating appropriate referral. Thorough knowledge of normal intracranial anatomy and adoption of a logical sonographic approach can improve depiction of abnormal findings, leading to a more accurate differential diagnosis earlier in pregnancy. Four standard recommended views-transventricular, falx, cavum, and posterior fossa or transcerebellar views-provide an overview of fetal intracranial anatomy during the second trimester anatomy scan. Essential elements surveyed in the head and neck include the lateral cerebral ventricles, choroid plexus, midline falx, cavum septi pellucidi, cerebellum, cisterna magna, upper lip, and nuchal fold. CNS abnormalities can be organized into six main categories at prenatal US. Developmental anomalies include neural tube defects and neuronal migration disorders. Posterior fossa disorders include Dandy-Walker malformation variants and Chiari II malformation. Ventricular anomalies include aqueductal stenosis. Midline disorders include those on the spectrum of holoprosencephaly, agenesis of the corpus callosum, and septo-optic dysplasia. Vascular anomalies include vein of Galen malformations. Miscellaneous disorders include hydranencephaly, porencephaly, tumors, and intracranial hemorrhage. Correlation with postnatal MRI is helpful for confirmation and clarification of suspected diagnoses after birth. The authors discuss a standard US imaging approach to the fetal CNS and review cases in all categories of CNS malformations, providing postnatal MRI correlation when available.©RSNA, 2020.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Cater, SW; Boyd, BK; Ghate, SV

Published Date

  • 2020

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 40 / 5

Start / End Page

  • 1458 - 1472

PubMed ID

  • 32706613

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1527-1323

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1148/rg.2020200034


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States