Objective: To evaluate standardized developmental test performance of infants and children who as fetuses had mild isolated cerebral ventriculomegaly diagnosed by ultrasound.
Methods: Ultrasound records from 1990 to 1996 were searched for cases of mild isolated ventriculomegaly, and standardized developmental testing of the children was offered to their parents. Each consented child was matched to a normal antepartum subject with respect to sex, race, indication for ultrasound, and gestational age (+/- 2 weeks) at the time of ultrasound. Tests of cognitive, motor, and adaptive behavior were then administered by examiners blinded to the subjects' case or comparison status.
Results: Twenty-two cases and an equal number of matched comparison subjects completed the testing. The ventriculomegaly and comparison groups were similar with respect to parental age, maternal education, and household income. The ventriculomegaly subjects scored significantly lower than the comparison group on both the Bayley Scales of Infant Development: mental development index (88.95 versus 99.68, P = .017) and psychomotor development index (95.99 versus 103.95, P = .039). Eight of the 22 ventriculomegaly children were classified as developmentally delayed on the mental developmental index compared with one of 22 children in the comparison group (P = .021). Adaptive behavior skills, as measured by the Vineland Behavior Scales (99.64 versus 102.68), were not significantly different between the groups (P = .571).
Conclusion: Mild isolated ventriculomegaly detected on antepartum sonographic examination is associated with a significant risk for developmental delay. Insofar as these children were judged to be completely normal at birth, our findings represent an important application of antepartum sonography for identifying infants who could be targeted for early childhood intervention.