Macrocephaly, increased intracranial pressure, and hydrocephalus in the infant and young child

Top Magn Reson Imaging. 2007 Feb;18(1):31-51. doi: 10.1097/RMR.0b013e3180d0a753.


Macrocephaly, increased intracranial pressure, and hydrocephalus are common related conditions that lead to cross-sectional imaging of the infant and young child. Imaging plays a central role in establishing the diagnosis and guiding disposition and treatment of these patients. In this review, a general overview is provided, and the more common causes of hydrocephalus are presented, including posthemorrhage, postinfection, developmental malformations, and masses. Imaging guidelines are also outlined for initial evaluation and follow-up, along with a discussion of the imaging features of shunt malfunction.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Brain Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Brain Diseases / physiopathology
  • Cerebrospinal Fluid Shunts / adverse effects
  • Child, Preschool
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Equipment Failure
  • Humans
  • Hydrocephalus / diagnosis*
  • Hydrocephalus / etiology
  • Hydrocephalus / physiopathology
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Intracranial Hypertension / diagnosis*
  • Intracranial Hypertension / physiopathology
  • Intracranial Pressure / physiology
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods*
  • Skull / abnormalities*
  • Ventriculostomy