Q. Fetus revealed with mild hydrocephalus. Is it a serious condition?

Answered by
Dr. Sameer Kumar
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on Feb 23, 2016 and last reviewed on: Oct 09, 2018

Hi doctor,

Mild hydrocephalus shown with breech presentation in 36 weeks ultrasound scan. None of the previous report showed any abnormality. Genetic test done earlier in 2nd trimester was also normal. I want to understand what should be the next step for a healthy and sound mother and baby. I had already consulted a pediatric surgeon who suggested me to take a fetal medicine specialist opinion. Hence, I am posting this query here. Thank you.



Welcome to

  • Mild hydrocephalus is possible at term and if the biparietal diameter on ultrasound is less than 10 cm then it is still fine. Ideally targeted scan can be done to check for any aqueductal stenosis congenitally, but it is unlikely.
  • The size of the biparietal diameter should be monitored weekly with an ultrasound and by 39 weeks, delivery should be considered as it is a breech presentation anyhow and unlikely that with hydrocephalus a normal vaginal delivery would be possible.
  • There is no possibility of intrauterine intervention at present so any intervention if planned would be anyhow done after the delivery of the child.

Kindly revert back with the reports to a fetal medicine specialist online -->

Hi doctor,

I am again attaching the ultrasound reports for reference. All these are reports of ultrasound done very recently just a month back. The only problem I am going through is the possibilities of complications I may encounter with my wife or child.



Welcome back to

  • The concern here is as shown in color Doppler report (attachment removed to protect patient identity) as well as hydrocephalus with placental insufficiency and cerebral hypoxia which makes it an emergency and the baby should be planned for emergency c-section to intervene over the possible cerebral blockage post delivery.
  • Cerebral hypoxia can cause damage to fetal brain and child may become spastic.
  • Also ideally your doctor should plan earliest delivery under a pediatric surgeon and neonatologist's consultation and in an institute with good NICU (neonatal intensive care unit) facilities. There may be a requirement of ventriculoperitoneal shunting in the child post delivery. I think with these reports delivery is indicated.

For further information consult a fetal medicine specialist online -->

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