Enlarged ventricles in baby's brain? — The Bump
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Enlarged ventricles in baby's brain?

Repost from parenting...Some of them suggested I post this over here, so I thought I'd see if I can get more input. Thanks.

At my 18 week ultrasound they discovered that the ventricles in baby's brain were measuring larger than normal. So the radiologist ordered a 2nd ultrasound to follow up and remeasure things after allowing for a couple weeks growth. So I had the 2nd ultrasound at 21 weeks. I just got the results yesterday and now they are referring me to a bigger hospital for a level 2 ultrasound to recheck the measurements again because there was a discrepancy in the size of the ventricles from one ultrasound to the next. I'm really not sure what this all means. My doctor didn't have a lot of information for me, I have my regular monthly check up with him next Thursday so I'm going to pick his brain for more information. As of now I'm awaiting a call back from the hospital to schedule the level 2. I'm scared/nervous/overwhelmed with all of this. I'm mostly afraid that something is wrong wiht our baby. Anyone else experience this?

Re: Enlarged ventricles in baby's brain?

  • lboerslboers member

    i currently am experiencing this...  one of my baby's ventricles was moderately enlarged and one was severely enlarged at our 18 week ultrasound. our follow up ultrasound showed them to be completely normal. we then had an mri which can give more accurate measurements and they are enlarged but just slightly outside of the normal range. the moral of this story... mis-meausurements happen and  enlarged ventricles OFTEN resolve themselves during pregnancy.

    my sister was pregnant last year and all through the pregnancy her son had mildly enlarged ventricles... he is 100% fine...

    we have other things now to worry about besides the ventricles... and i know you can't help it and i hate this advice... but TRY not to worry about it... there's a huge chance that everything will be fine.... good luck!

  • Yes, I went through the same thing - this is our story:


    I also want to say that there are others who have gone through this and there was nothing wrong at all.  So don't worry yet.  You might try paging MusicMaker on 12-24 she had this happen too and her baby was born with no issues, so that may ease your mind.


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  • We are going through this as well and it is so frustrating and scary, because it seems to just be a waiting game.  I am at 36 weeks and all the ventricals except the left atrial one is normal the left ventrical has measured anything from 11-15.7mm depending on the date.  We had a fetal MRI and everything else is normal.  We have one more ultrasound on the 8th and then we just have to monitor his developmental milestones.  The dr said often children will be fine after birth.  It just depends.  Unfortunately, there is not much else you can do except monitor it and wait.  Would love to hear anyone else's story on this.  Its nice to share our stories. 
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  • I 100% agree with you and know hwo you are feeling! Even worse my doctors never noticed anything until now until i was 37 wks pregnant! They did a ultrasound just to see the position of the baby, and ended up finding the same problem. So they just sent me for a level 2 ultrasound yesterday and said yes they are enlarged but at this stage theres nothing they can do i just have to wait and see once i have the baby! It feels like a waiting game to me, and it is driving me crazy.
  • I just heard the same news today from my perinatologist.  I've been closely monitored for my Lupus throughout my pregnancy and so far there have been no complications, but today (I'm 28 weeks), he tells me that the ventricles are measuring 11mm and that this is still within the normal range but that it needs to be monitored.  I am so scared, I don't know what to think!  What does this mean if they continue to become enlarged?  Will my baby be born with hydrocephalus?  How often does this type of thing correct itself?  What can I expect, if the worse-case scenario does happen?  I am trying to remain positive, but right now I am honestly so lost I don't know what to feel.  I have another 3 yr old boy who is doing exceptionally well and had no problems whatsoever.  I am driving myself crazy over here reading about this stuff online.  I could use someone's advice.
  • HI there V.Murray,

    I have been reading your post and completely understand how anxious you must be feeling. I really just wanted to give you some hope and a positive story as I have just recently been through the same kind of stressful situation. Probably like you, we went into our 20 week ultrasound so excited about seeing our gorgeous bub only to be told that her left ventricle was measuring 9.8mm. We were told to try and not worry as it was still within normal range but needed to be monitored. Well.... how could we not worry about something that was potentially wrong with our baby!!We promised ourselves we wouldnt Google anything when we got home, but the fear of the unknown got the better of us and we did! A BIG mistake! Reading about all these worst case scenarios like Hydrocephalus etc scared the living daylights out of us. We scheduled another followup US at 23 weeks and found out that the ventricle had increased further to 11mm and we were now slightly over the borderline and would therefore require further tests. They still tried to tell us not to worry but my heart sank and I burst into tears right then and there on the table. From there they referred us to a genetics councellor at our hospital who was so lovely and basically took us under her wing for the remainder of our pregnancy. We went to another tech for a second opinion who confirmed that it had increased and he even got a higher reading of 11.6mm. As it was only one side of the brain that was enlarged they were concerned it might have been a chromosonal abnormality or perhaps a bleed on the babys brain. From this point we felt completely numb. The next step was to decide if we were going to have an amniocentisis to hopefully rule out the chromosomal part of things. We decided to go ahead and have this done. Thankfully our results came back clear. The next thing was to have a foetal MRI. This showed a more accurate measurement and also showed no other abnormalities in the brain. We were so thankful that there was no sign of a bleed! We saw a pediatric neurologist who walked us through the results. From here we had an US every 4 weeks where they just monitored the ventricle. The most it went up to was 13.6mm but then went back down to 11mm as it was time to have the baby. At our last US we were told that our babys head was measuring 2 weeks bigger than normal. This was one of the things that scared us the most! We thought hydrocephalus for sure! I tell you what the dreams I had of this baby coming out with an abnormal head were not helping the situation. My husbands family have quite large heads so we were praying that it was only a genetic thing. I had been having anxiety and panic attacks throughout the remainder of my pregnancy ( which I had never experienced previously) so we actually decided to have a C-section. My past 2 babies were natural but VERY long labours and my OB did say I was able to have this one naturally too but my husband and I decided we felt more comfortable just having a C-section. The thought of putting pressure on my babies brain through the birth canal just made me anxious so we thought it best to eliminate any other complications especially if it was going to have a bigger head. So we scheduled our caesar at 38.5 weeks. A very scary time leading up to the C-section. She was delivered as scheduled and came out looking absolutely perfect! It was such a relief!!! Her head size is slightly above average at the moment but certainly not what I was dreaming about. 24 hours after her delivery we had to take her for a cranial ultrasound to check out her ventricle. After an extremely tense 30 mins we were elated to find out that her ventricle had gone down to 2mm!!! YES!! 2mm!!!! We could not believe it!! Actually I still cant believe it! She was supposed to have an MRI done at 3 weeks but because the results were so good they said I shouldnt put her through all of that and just get another cranial US done at 6 weeks to confirm that all was ok. We did this, and it was measuring 3.5mm which is completely normal! There is no need for any follow up as she is a PERFECTLY NORMAL little baby!! My baby girl has just gone 9 weeks and I honestly look at her every day and thank my lucky stars that she is 100% perfect! There was no real explanation as to WHY all this happened and how the ventricle decreased after birth but they seemed to think the brain expanded and released some pressure. I am now making it my mission to put my story out to people like yourself so I can offer some kind of hope and positiveness. I know its not going to take all your fears and anxiety away but if I had have read a positive story like this during our terrifying 20 weeks of hell, I would have felt remotely more positive. Im sure you will have a similar story to tell after you finally have your beautiful baby! I wish you all the best and please update us on how things are going. Take care

  • Hi i have just read ur story and thank you for sharing it we had our 20 week ultra sound 2 weeks ago and my partner had her antinatal appointment a week ago and when she went in the doctor said that her left ventrical measured to 12mm and that was 2mm bigger than the right the last week has been the worst week of our lives. We too said we wouldnt google it but im glad i did because i found this story and have finaly had a chance to hear the full outcome of a story like this all ive found are people with the same problem and no result. We have out 2ndary US tomorrow and have. Been thatnervous and having panic attacks its been driving us insane
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