Lyall AE, Woolson S, Wolfe HM, Goldman BD, Reznick JS, Hamer RM, Lin W, Styner M, Gerig G, Gilmore JH
Early Hum. Dev. 2012 Aug;88(8):691-8
BACKGROUND: Enlargement of the lateral ventricles is thought to originate from abnormal prenatal brain development and is associated with neurodevelopmental disorders. Fetal isolated mild ventriculomegaly (MVM) is associated with the enlargement of lateral ventricle volumes in the neonatal period and developmental delays in early childhood. However, little is known about postnatal brain development in these children.
METHODS: Twenty-eight children with fetal isolated MVM and 56 matched controls were followed at ages 1 and 2 years with structural imaging on a 3T Siemens scanner and assessment of cognitive development with the Mullen Scales of Early Learning. Lateral ventricle, total gray and white matter volumes, and Mullen cognitive composite scores and subscale scores were compared between groups.
RESULTS: Compared to controls, children with prenatal isolated MVM had significantly larger lateral ventricle volumes at ages 1 and 2 years. Lateral ventricle volume at 1 and 2 years of age was significantly correlated with prenatal ventricle size. Enlargement of the lateral ventricles was associated with increased intracranial volumes and increased gray and white matter volumes. Children with MVM had Mullen composite scores similar to controls, although there was evidence of delay in fine motor and expressive language skills.
CONCLUSIONS: Children with prenatal MVM have persistent enlargement of the lateral ventricles through the age of 2 years; this enlargement is associated with increased gray and white matter volumes and some evidence of delay in fine motor and expressive language development. Further study is needed to determine if enlarged lateral ventricles are associated with increased risk for neurodevelopmental disorders.