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Obstet Gynecol. 1985 Sep;66(3 Suppl):25S-28S.

Enlarged fetal cisterna magna: appearance and significance.


The differential diagnosis of a posterior fossa fluid collection in the fetus includes an enlarged cisterna magna, Dandy-Walker syndrome, or a posterior fossa cyst, each of which has differing implications for perinatal management. Causes of an enlarged cisterna magna include cerebellar hypoplasia, communicating hydrocephalus, and normal variation. Cerebellar hypoplasia is a frequent finding in the trisomies and therefore a careful search should be made for associated cardiac anomalies, growth retardation, and polyhydramnios.

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