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Prenat Diagn. 2018 Apr;38(5):365-375. doi: 10.1002/pd.5240.

Altered cortical development in fetuses with isolated nonsevere ventriculomegaly assessed by neurosonography.

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Fetal i+D Fetal Medicine Research Center, BCNatal - Barcelona Center for Maternal-Fetal and Neonatal Medicine (Hospital Clínic and Hospital Sant Joan de Déu), Institut Clínic de Ginecologia, Obstetricia i Neonatologia, Institut d'Investigacions Biomèdiques August Pi i Sunyer, Universitat de Barcelona, Spain.
Departamento de Obstetrícia e Ginecologia, Hospital de Santa Maria, Centro Hospitalar Lisboa Norte, Lisbon, Portugal.
Centre for Biomedical Research on Rare Diseases (CIBER-ER), Barcelona, Spain.



To perform a comprehensive assessment of cortical development in fetuses with isolated nonsevere ventriculomegaly (INSVM) by neurosonography.


We prospectively included 40 fetuses with INSVM and 40 controls. INSVM was defined as atrial width between 10.0 and 14.9 mm without associated malformation, infection, or chromosomal abnormality. Cortical development was assessed by neurosonography at 26 and 30 weeks of gestation measuring depth of selected sulci and applying a maturation scale from 0 (no appearance) to 5 (maximally developed) of main sulci and areas.


INSVM showed underdeveloped calcarine and parieto-occipital sulci. In addition, significant delayed maturation pattern was also observed in regions distant to ventricular system including Insula depth (controls 30.8 mm [SD 1.7] vs INSVM 31.7 mm [1.8]; P = .04), Sylvian fissure grading (>2 at 26 weeks: controls 87.5% vs INSVM 50%, P = .01), mesial area grading (>2 at 30 weeks: controls 95% vs INSVM 62.5%; P = .03), and cingulate sulcus grading (>2 at 30 weeks: controls 100% vs INSVM 80.5%; P = .01).


Fetuses with INSVM showed underdeveloped cortical maturation including also regions, where effect of ventricular dilatation is unlikely. These results suggest that in a proportion of fetuses with INSVM, ventricular dilation might be related with altered cortical architecture.

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