Diagnosis and management of congenital neurologic disease during pregnancy

Handb Clin Neurol. 2020;171:291-311. doi: 10.1016/B978-0-444-64239-4.00015-1.


Advanced techniques in neuroimaging and genetics, as well as the publication of longer-term prognostic studies, have led to fetal neurology becoming an essential part of prenatal obstetric care. A multidisciplinary approach to providing prenatal counseling is now commonly used in most academic medical centers. Common conditions seen are ventriculomegaly, agenesis of the corpus callosum and other midline abnormalities, and posterior fossa anomalies. The prognosis frequently depends on the severity of the condition and the presence of other anomalies. Certain pathologic processes, such as myelomeningocele, can be treated surgically in the prenatal period, and there is ongoing research regarding potential treatments of other conditions such as tuberous sclerosis. Acquired conditions such as hemorrhage, tumor, and ischemic stroke can also be seen prenatally, and their early diagnosis may inform postnatal care.

Keywords: Agenesis of the corpus callosum; Cerebellar hypoplasia; Dandy-Walker; Fetal neurology; Holoprosencephaly; Joubert; Myelomeningocele; Neural tube defect; Spina bifida; Tuberous sclerosis; Ventriculomegaly.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Agenesis of Corpus Callosum
  • Corpus Callosum / diagnostic imaging
  • Dandy-Walker Syndrome*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Nervous System Malformations*
  • Pregnancy
  • Prenatal Diagnosis
  • Ultrasonography, Prenatal