Q. Ultrasound showing mild hydrocephalus. Should I be concerned?

Answered by
Dr. Sirisha
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on Mar 29, 2016 and last reviewed on: Dec 27, 2019

Hi doctor,

My present ultrasound is showing mild hydrocephalus with breech presentation (36 weeks) dilated 13 mm ventricle. No genetic disorder reported earlier done in second trimester. All the previous ultrasound showed normal and sound growth of fetus. Reports attached for your reference. Thank you.

Dr. Sirisha



Welcome to icliniq.com.

  • Hydrocephalus means increase in fluid content in the fluid spaces of the brain. This can keep increasing in size or remain same. Hydrocephalus was detected in the last trimester.
  • As it is now 36 weeks wait for baby to get delivered. As there is fetal hypoxia your obstetrician might plan for delivery, most probably a cesarean, of which she is the best judge. I would also insist you to consult a fetal medicine specialist for the needful.
  • Once baby is delivered, you should get MRI of the brain and spine, within the first week of life. Because, we also need to see the spine related issues.
  • Depending on the report, you need to consult a neurosurgeon, who will consider operating on the baby if required and will also suggest the best time for it.
  • The type of surgery also will be discussed by neurosurgeon like shunt or external ventricular drain (EVD) or ventriculostomy. It is better to discuss these after the MRI.
  • The outcome depends on the extent of the problem and the involvement of other parts of the brain. It would be guarded, because we do not know how the developing brain would be affected or how this should have happened.
  • Some infections which the mother might have got in early pregnancy, might have affected the baby's developing brain. Some genetic disorders might be there. Chromosomal analysis called karyotype will be required.
  • Sometimes there is no cause. There is no treatment option with medication now. Other systems will be checked, like heart, kidneys, etc.

The Probable causes:

Antenatal infection.

Investigations to be done:

1. MRI brain and spine.
2. Ultrasound abdomen and 2D echo (echocardiogram) of the heart.
3. Karyotype.

Treatment plan:

Surgery if required.

Regarding follow up:

Revert back after MRI to a paediatric surgeon online.---> https://www.icliniq.com/ask-a-doctor-online/paediatric-surgeon

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Hello doctor,

What could be the possibility that this issue will not be affecting the baby? There was no genetic problem detected during second trimester. Genetic test and none of previous ultrasound showed any problem. Please guide.

Dr. Sirisha



Welcome back to icliniq.com.

  • There is a possibility that the problem could be minor, but MRI after birth would be better to prognosticate.
  • If the problem is less, there might not be much affect on the baby, but difficult to say now. Because, we can make out only some details in the womb. Hope for the best.

For further information consult a paediatric surgeon online --> https://www.icliniq.com/ask-a-doctor-online/paediatric-surgeon

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