It may be caused by problems with how the brain grows. It may also be caused by the flow of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). This fluid surrounds and cushions the brain and spinal cord. It should move smoothly. If its flow is slowed or stopped, it can put pressure on the ventricles and make them get bigger.
Health problems that may raise your child’s risk are:
- Brain cysts
- Spina bifida
- Bleeding within the brain
- A rare birth defect called agenesis of the corpus callosum
Certain infections of the pregnant mother can raise the risk. These are:
- Cytomegalovirus—an infection caused by a type of herpes virus
- Toxoplasmosis—an infection linked to cat stool or infected food
- Syphilis—a sexually transmitted infection
- Lymphocytic choriomeningitis—a virus spread by mice (rare)
Talk with your doctor about the best plan for your child.
More ultrasounds may be done to check the baby’s health. Sometimes this health problem gets better on its own.
Draining the Fluid
If the problem gets worse, other methods will be needed to drain the fluid. This can be done by placing a ventriculoperitoneal shuntafter your child is born.
This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.
Edits to original content made by Denver Health.
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American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology http://www.acog.org
Women’s Health—US Department of Health and Human Services http://www.womenshealth.gov
Health Canada https://www.canada.ca
The Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada http://www.sogc.org
Craig A, Lober R, et al. Complex fetal care: Implications of fetal ventriculomegaly: a neurosurgical perspective. NeoReviews. 2015;16;e254. Available at: http://neoreviews.aappublications.org/content/16/4/e254. Accessed June 28, 2018.
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Ventriculomegaly in children. Boston Children’s Hospital website. Available at: http://www.childrenshospital.org/conditions-and-treatments/conditions/ventriculomegaly. Published 2012. Accessed June 28, 2018.