Mild ventriculomegaly detected in utero with ultrasound: clinical associations and implications for schizophrenia

Schizophr Res. 1998 Oct 9;33(3):133-40. doi: 10.1016/s0920-9964(98)00073-5.


The most consistent structural abnormality of the brain associated with schizophrenia is that of mild enlargement of the lateral cerebral ventricles. Mild ventriculomegaly (MVM) of the fetal brain detected in utero with ultrasound is associated with developmental delays similar to those described in children at high risk of schizophrenia. Fetal mild ventriculomegaly may be a marker for increased risk of schizophrenia and other neurodevelopmental abnormalities. Given the association between schizophrenia and obstetrical complications, pre- and perinatal complications and pregnancy outcomes were retrospectively reviewed in 51 pregnancies in which the fetus exhibited mild ventriculomegaly on routine ultrasonography and 49 control pregnancies. Mothers of children with MVM were older than controls and had shorter gestations. There were no significant between-group differences in numbers of pregnancy complications or pregnancy outcomes as reflected in gestational age at birth, birthweight, or Apgar scores. Children with isolated mild ventriculomegaly tended to be male. This study indicates that isolated mild ventriculomegaly detected in utero is not associated with pregnancy complications and suggests that isolated mild ventriculomegaly of the fetus is genetically determined or caused by environmental events not routinely considered pregnancy complications.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cerebral Ventricles / diagnostic imaging*
  • Choroid Plexus / diagnostic imaging
  • Dilatation, Pathologic
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications / diagnostic imaging
  • Reference Values
  • Risk Factors
  • Schizophrenia / diagnostic imaging*
  • Schizophrenia / genetics
  • Ultrasonography, Prenatal*