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HomeAnswersPediatric SurgeryhydrocephalusIs mild hydrocephalus dangerous?

Is ultrasound showing mild hydrocephalus concerning?

The following is an actual conversation between an iCliniq user and a doctor that has been reviewed and published as a Premium Q&A.

Medically reviewed by

iCliniq medical review team

Published At March 29, 2016
Reviewed AtApril 23, 2024

Patient's Query

Hi doctor,

My present ultrasound is showing mild hydrocephalus with breech presentation (36 weeks) dilated 13 mm ventricle. No genetic disorder was reported earlier in the second trimester. All the previous ultrasound showed normal and sound growth of the fetus. I had no past problem conceiving my first baby. Reports are attached for your reference. Thank you.


Welcome to icliniq.com.

Hydrocephalusmeans an increase in fluid content in the fluid spaces of the brain. This can keep increasing in size or remain the same. Hydrocephalus was detected in the last trimester. As it is now 36 weeks wait for the 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 the baby is delivered, you should get an 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 (attachments removed to protect the patient's identity), 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 neurosurgeons 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 gotten in early pregnancy might have affected the baby's developing brain. Some genetic disorders might be there. The 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 the 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

Patient's Query

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.


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 effect on the baby, but difficult to say now. Because we can make out only some details in the womb. Hope for the best.

Same symptoms don't mean you have the same problem. Consult a doctor now!

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Dr. Nagasirisha Naredla


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