Ventriculomegaly | Diagnosis & Treatment

How is ventriculomegaly diagnosed?

Ventriculomegaly can be detected on prenatal tests or after the baby is born.

Tests include:

How is ventriculomegaly treated?

Ventriculomegaly only needs to be treated if the baby has hydrocephalus, a build-up of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) in the brain.

Treatments for hydrocephalus include:

  • Shunt placement: In this process a small tube is implanted in the brain while the child is under anesthesia. The tube provides internal drainage of CSF from the ventricles of the brain into the abdominal cavity.
  • Endoscopic third ventriculostomy (ETV): This minimally-invasive procedure creates an opening in the floor of the third ventricle in the brain, allowing the trapped fluid to escape from the ventricles into its normal pathway.
  • Combined endoscopic third ventriculostomy/choroid plexus cauterization (ETV/CPC)

What is the long-term outlook?

Most infants with simple ventriculomegaly who have no other brain damage or developmental problems will have completely normal and healthy development.

With timely treatment, infants with hydrocephalus who do not have other serious brain damage have an excellent prognosis for normal development.

Our areas of innovation for ventriculomegaly

Boston Children's was the first hospital in the world to treat children with hydrocephalus by shunting. In the years since this important milestone, our physicians have helped design and test the next generation of shunting devices, introduced and refined the use of minimally invasive surgical alternatives to shunt placement, and taught these potentially life-saving techniques to pediatric neurosurgeons around the world.