Intracranial hemorrhage progressing to porencephaly as a result of congenitally acquired cytomegalovirus infection--an illustrative report

Prenat Diagn. 2003 Oct;23(10):797-800. doi: 10.1002/pd.688.


Objective: To report ultrasound and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) findings in a fetus with intracranial hemorrhage and porencephaly, presumed secondary to intrauterine cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection.

Methods: A 20-year-old, G2, P1 woman presented at 28.6 weeks' gestation after ultrasound examination demonstrated apparently isolated fetal ascites. Evaluation included maternal serology, amniocentesis, and repeated ultrasound examinations. Fetal MRI evaluation was also performed. The infant was born at 35 weeks' gestational age.

Results: Maternal serology was positive for CMV IgG. Intrauterine CMV infection was confirmed using polymerase chain reaction (PCR). At 31.6 weeks' gestation, ultrasound demonstrated borderline lateral cerebral ventriculomegaly. MRI of the fetal brain on the same day demonstrated parenchymal hemorrhage in the right posterior temporal and parietal regions along with mild ventricular enlargement. Sonography one day before delivery revealed brain parenchymal cystic change consistent with porencephaly of the right posterior temporal and parietal region. Postnatal ultrasound, computed tomography (CT), and MRI confirmed the diagnosis of a porencephalic cyst communicating with the posterior body of the right lateral ventricle. Placental pathology was consistent with CMV infection.

Conclusion: This case report illustrates that fetal MRI is a useful adjunct in the evaluation of intrauterine infection with CMV.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cytomegalovirus / isolation & purification
  • Cytomegalovirus Infections / complications*
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intracranial Hemorrhages / diagnosis*
  • Intracranial Hemorrhages / diagnostic imaging
  • Intracranial Hemorrhages / etiology
  • Intracranial Hemorrhages / pathology
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Microcephaly / diagnosis*
  • Microcephaly / diagnostic imaging
  • Microcephaly / etiology
  • Microcephaly / pathology
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications, Infectious*
  • Pregnancy Trimester, Third
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed
  • Ultrasonography, Prenatal*