Child's Nervous System

, Volume 22, Issue 10, pp 1242–1248 | Cite as

Idiopathic macrocephaly in the infant: long-term neurological and neuropsychological outcome

  • Heidi Muenchberger
  • Nazih Assaad
  • Pamela Joy
  • Ruth Brunsdon
  • E. Arthur Shores
Original Paper



The long-term outcome of idiopathic macrocephaly is presently unknown.

Methods and results

In the current study (n=15), MRI conducted at long-term review showed regression of orbito-frontal extradural collections and normal or slightly enlarged ventricular space compared to infant examination. Head circumference had normalised in all but one participant. Neuropsychological assessments of nine participants showed general intellectual ability within the normal range in the majority of participants; however, specific deficits in attention were evident. Clinical interviews conducted with a smaller sub-group revealed anecdotal histories of behavioural difficulties and reading or arithmetic difficulties in half of the total sample.


Prospective review studies such as this indicate that abnormal radiological findings in infancy are not necessarily predictive of neurodevelopmental problems and may reflect a normal variant. However, while overall intellectual ability may be within average limits in this diagnostic sample, considerable individual variations remain in specific areas of neuropsychological function.


Macrocephaly Neuropsychology Benign external hydrocephalus Subarachnoid space Head circumference 



The authors gratefully acknowledge the early work of Dr. Ian Johnson and Dr. Elizabeth Fagan that lead to the preparation of the current study.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Heidi Muenchberger
    • 1
  • Nazih Assaad
    • 3
  • Pamela Joy
    • 2
    • 3
  • Ruth Brunsdon
    • 3
  • E. Arthur Shores
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.School of Human ServicesGriffith UniversityBrisbaneAustralia
  2. 2.Macquarie UniversitySydneyAustralia
  3. 3.The Children’s HospitalSydneyAustralia

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