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Infants who require evaluation for ventriculomegaly or possible hydrocephalus are generally seen in the Neonatal and Congenital Anomalies Neurosurgery Programat Boston Children’s Hospital. Here, members of the team work closely with specialists in other departments in the hospital, to develop individual care plans that meet each child’s medical needs.
Until you meet with our team of doctors, you may find it helpful to read the straightforward information about ventriculomegaly provided in the following pages.
What does it mean to have ventriculomegaly?
Are there any medical complications associated with ventriculomegaly?
What causes ventriculomegaly?
Ventricles develop early in pregnancy and can be seen on a prenatal ultrasound in the second trimester, at about the 15th week.
Although there’s not always a single identifiable reason why a child develops ventriculomegaly, there are four main factors that can cause enlargement of the ventricles:
Is ventriculomegaly inherited?
Ventriculomegaly usually occurs spontaneously, which means that a child does not inherit the condition from the parents. However, benign macrocephaly tends to run in families and there are some rare inherited causes of hydrocephalus. Congenital hydrocephalus can be associated with other anomalies of the brain, or other conditions such as spina bifida or heart defects.
What are the symptoms of ventriculomegaly?
Infants with mild self-limited ventriculomegaly usually don’t have any symptoms. If the ventriculomegaly is progressive the baby may show the signs and symptoms of hydrocephalus once it is born.
An infant with hydrocephalus may have:
What is the long-term outlook?
Most infants with simple, nonprogressive ventriculomegaly in the absence of brain damage or developmental anomalies will have completely normal and healthy development. Likewise, infants with hydrocephalus who do not have other serious brain anomalies or damage have an excellent prognosis for normal development with timely treatment of the condition.
We are grateful to have been ranked #1 on U.S. News & World Report's list of the best children's hospitals in the nation for the third year in a row, an honor we could not have achieved without the patients and families who inspire us to do our very best for them. Thanks to you, Boston Children's is a place where we can write the greatest children's stories ever told.”