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Ultrasound Obstet Gynecol. 2010 Nov;36(5):582-95. doi: 10.1002/uog.7680.

Frequency and cause of disagreements in imaging diagnosis in children with ventriculomegaly diagnosed prenatally.

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Tufts University School of Medicine, Boston, MA, USA.



To assess the frequency and cause of variability in diagnosis on cranial sonography and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in children referred following prenatal diagnosis of ventriculomegaly.


Between 19 September 2003 and 16 March 2007, 119 infants with ultrasound and/or MRI studies performed within 13 months (median, 6 days) after birth, following prenatal referral for ventriculomegaly, were studied prospectively. There were 97 infants with ultrasound results and 53 with MRI, including 31 with both. Three sonologists and three pediatric neuroradiologists interpreted the postnatal ultrasound and MRI findings, blinded to prenatal diagnosis, and a final consensus diagnosis or group of diagnoses was obtained. Ventricular sizes as well as types of and reasons for any disagreement in diagnosis were recorded. Disagreements on a per patient basis were categorized as being major when they crossed diagnostic categories and had the potential to change patient counseling. Postnatal and prenatal diagnoses were compared.


There was prospective agreement on 42/97 (43%) ultrasound and on 9/53 (17%) MRI readings. Prospective consensus was more likely when the number of central nervous system (CNS) anomalies was lower (P < 0.001 and P = 0.002 for ultrasound and MRI, respectively). In 24/55 (44%) ultrasound and 11/44 (25%) MRI examinations with disagreement in diagnosis, there was disagreement concerning the presence of ventriculomegaly. In 22/97 (23%) ultrasound studies and 22/53 (42%) MRI studies the disagreements were potentially important. Reasons for discrepancies in the reporting of major findings included errors of observation as well as modality differences in depiction of abnormalities. In comparing prenatal with postnatal diagnoses, there were 11/97 (11%) ultrasound and 27/53 (51%) MRI examinations with newly detected major findings, the most common being migrational abnormalities, callosal dysgenesis/destruction and interval development of hemorrhage.


Variability in postnatal CNS diagnosis is common after a prenatal diagnosis of ventriculomegaly. This is due in part to a lack of standardization in the definition of postnatal ventriculomegaly.

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