The value of head ultrasound in infants with macrocephaly

Pediatr Radiol. 1998 Mar;28(3):143-6. doi: 10.1007/s002470050315.


Objective: To assess the value of head ultrasound (HUS) in neurologically normal infants with macrocephaly and to develop a rational approach to radiological investigation of macrocephalic infants.

Materials and methods: A retrospective analysis of infants with macrocephaly (seen by one pediatric neurologist at this institution) was conducted. Infants with normal neurological examinations, no evidence of raised intracranial pressure and who had undergone a HUS were included.

Results: Twenty-seven infants were included in the analysis. Mean age at first assessment was 4.8 months. In 12 of 27 (44%), HUS was reported as normal. The remaining 15 had clinically insignificant abnormalities on HUS; 7 had prominent ventricles and 7 had increased subarachnoid fluid, with 1 infant having both. Seven infants had CT or MRI in addition to HUS. No clinically significant abnormalities were seen on CT or MRI scans that were not evident on HUS. Four infants had mild developmental abnormalities on initial evaluation. Mean duration of follow-up was 13.1 months. No infant developed neurological abnormalities during the follow-up period.

Conclusion: In infants with macrocephaly with a normal neurological examination and no signs of raised intracranial pressure, HUS in conjunction with close neurological follow-up is reliable for the detection or exclusion of relevant intracranial pathology.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Abnormalities, Multiple*
  • Cerebral Ventricles / abnormalities*
  • Cerebral Ventricles / diagnostic imaging
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Hydrocephalus / diagnostic imaging*
  • Infant
  • Intracranial Pressure
  • Male
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Skull / abnormalities*
  • Skull / diagnostic imaging
  • Ultrasonography