Imaging of congenital Zika virus infection: the route to identification of prognostic factors

Prenat Diagn. 2016 Sep;36(9):799-811. doi: 10.1002/pd.4880. Epub 2016 Aug 25.


Zika virus (ZIKV) has recently emerged as a novel teratogenic agent associated with severe neurological complications. The risk associated with maternal infection remains to be exactly defined but appears to be significant. Like other TORCH agents (toxoplasmosis, other agents, rubella, cytomegalovirus and herpes simplex), it is unlikely that all affected fetuses will be symptomatic at birth. It is therefore urgent to better define the spectrum of anomalies observed in infected fetuses to provide adequate parental counseling. In this review, we provide a comprehensive analysis of major cases described to date and highlight specific prenatal and postnatal radiological findings of congenital ZIKV infection. A total of 19 reports were included in our analysis. ZIKV seemed to harbor a specific tropism for the central nervous system, and anomalies were mostly limited to the brain. Major radiological findings were ventriculomegaly, diffuse calcifications and signs of abnormal gyration as well as cortical development. In addition, a significant number of fetuses suffered from intra uterine growth restriction. Based on these findings, we provide recommendations for adequate radiological monitoring of at-risk pregnancies. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Brain / pathology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infectious Disease Transmission, Vertical
  • Pregnancy
  • Ultrasonography, Prenatal
  • Zika Virus Infection / diagnostic imaging*
  • Zika Virus Infection / pathology
  • Zika Virus Infection / transmission