Counseling in isolated mild fetal ventriculomegaly

Ultrasound Obstet Gynecol. 2009 Aug;34(2):212-24. doi: 10.1002/uog.7307.


In this Review we aim to provide up-to-date and evidence-based answers to the common questions regarding the diagnosis of isolated mild fetal ventriculomegaly (VM). A literature search was performed to identify all reports of antenatal VM in the English language literature. In addition, reference lists of articles identified using the search were scrutinized to further identify relevant articles. Fetal mild VM is commonly defined as a ventricular atrial width of 10.0-15.0 mm, and it is considered isolated if there are no associated ultrasound abnormalities. There is no good evidence to suggest that the width of the ventricular atria contributes to the risk of neurodevelopmental outcome in fetuses with mild VM. The most important prognostic factors are the association with other abnormalities that escape early detection and the progression of ventricular dilatation, which are reported to occur in about 13% and 16% of cases, respectively. Most infants with a prenatal diagnosis of isolated mild VM have normal neurological development at least in infancy. The rate of abnormal or delayed neurodevelopment in infancy is about 11%, and it is unclear whether this is higher than in the general population. Furthermore, the number of infants that develop a real handicap is unknown. There are limitations of existing studies of mild VM. Although they address many of the relevant questions regarding the prognosis and management of fetal isolated mild VM, there is a lack of good-quality postnatal follow-up studies. The resulting uncertainties make antenatal counseling for this abnormality difficult.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cerebral Ventricles / abnormalities*
  • Cerebral Ventricles / embryology
  • Counseling
  • Female
  • Gestational Age
  • Humans
  • Hypertrophy / diagnostic imaging
  • Hypertrophy / embryology
  • Pregnancy
  • Prognosis
  • Ultrasonography, Prenatal