Prevalence of choroid plexus cysts in term and near-term infants with congenital heart disease

AJR Am J Roentgenol. 2011 Mar;196(3):W326-9. doi: 10.2214/AJR.10.5054.


Objective: We retrospectively studied term and near-term infants to determine if there is an increased prevalence of choroid plexus cysts associated with congenital heart disease.

Materials and methods: We reviewed 231 consecutive cranial ultrasound examinations from January 2005 through December 2008 on infants between 37-42 weeks of gestation (115 infants with and 116 without congenital heart disease). After exclusion for intracranial hemorrhage or anomalies excluding hydronephrosis, studies on 87 infants with and 99 without congenital heart disease were scored by a single pediatric radiologist blinded to clinical data for the presence of choroid plexus cysts. All studies used a multifrequency 6-8-MHz phased-array transducer. Results were analyzed using Pearson's chi-square test.

Results: Of 87 infants with congenital heart disease (53/87 [61%] cyanotic, 34/87 [39%] acyanotic), 26% (23/87) had choroid plexus cysts versus 12% (12/99) without heart disease (χ(2) = 4.48, p < 0.05). The rate of choroid plexus cysts in the cyanotic group (13/54 or 24%) and acyanotic group (10/33 or 30%) (χ(2) = 0.050, p > 0.05) were similar. Among 28 patients who underwent renal ultrasound, 50% (10/20) with congenital heart disease had choroid plexus cysts compared with 12.5% (1/8) of those without (χ(2) = 3.36, p < 0.10).

Conclusion: We documented an increased prevalence of choroid plexus cysts in infants with congenital heart disease but no difference according to type. Our data revealed a possible association of choroid plexus cysts, hydronephrosis, and congenital heart disease. We suggest ultrasound evaluation of the kidneys and heart in infants with choroid plexus cysts.

MeSH terms

  • Central Nervous System Cysts / diagnostic imaging*
  • Central Nervous System Cysts / etiology*
  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • Choroid Plexus / diagnostic imaging*
  • Female
  • Heart Defects, Congenital / complications*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Prevalence
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Ultrasonography