Ultrasonographic measurement of subarachnoid space in normal infants and children

Pediatr Neurol. 2001 Nov;25(5):380-4. doi: 10.1016/s0887-8994(01)00349-6.


This study was undertaken to evaluate the sonographic measurement of subarachnoid spaces in normal children and its relationship with age and to define a normal range in a Chinese population and to differentiate normal variant findings from pathologic dilatation. The subarachnoid spaces in 278 normal term neonates, infants, and children were studied with real-time ultrasound using a 7.5-MHz vector transducer. The craniocortical width, sinocortical width, and interhemispheric width were measured in the coronal plane at the level of the foramen of Monro, on either side of the hemispheres. Correlation of sonographic measurements with age was made. The mean widths were plotted against age. A correlation with age was found in all three spaces, with an increasing trend with age until 28 weeks of gestation. Thereafter, a decreasing trend was noted. The normal upper limit of subarachnoid spaces for children is proposed to be the values on the ninety-fifth percentile of the regression curve. Correlation of measurement with age must be considered to decide whether an increase in subarachnoid space is pathologic or not.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Cephalometry
  • Cerebral Cortex / diagnostic imaging
  • Cerebral Cortex / pathology
  • Dilatation, Pathologic
  • Dominance, Cerebral / physiology
  • Echoencephalography*
  • Female
  • Gestational Age
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Pregnancy
  • Reference Values
  • Subarachnoid Space / diagnostic imaging*
  • Subarachnoid Space / pathology