Ultrasonography of the Head in Infancy

  • A. Couture
  • L. Cadier


The first clinical applications of echoencephalography were made 20 years ago. For a long time, mode A ultrasonography was the only method for detection of the midline and measurement of ventricular size. Leksell [1] was the first to show that one could define midline cerebral structures by ultrasound. Significant progress was made using the “bistable” method and this permitted Sjogren [2] and Lombroso [3] to appreciate easily the morphology of the cerebral ventricles: it was in this way that early hydrocephalus was diagnosed and confirmed by pneumoencephalography. With the apparition of the grayscale, Kossof and Garret [4] accurately described the echoanatomy of the normal brain of an infant. They accurately isolated the ventricular system, taking precise measurements. However, they also defined certain parenchymal structures such as the thalamus, caudate nucleus, internal capsule, corpus cal-losum and the brain stem. More recently, the realization of horizontal transosseous sections by Morgan [5] and Johnson [6] permitted interesting comparisons with CT scan. The merits of this transosseous method compared with CT scan were widely discussed with the conclusion that, with regard to appreciation of ventricular size, the sensitivity of the methods was identical. However, the transosseous approach demands a meticulous technique. To identify both ventricles correctly, perpendicular projection of the ultrasound beam with respect to the ventricular wall is required [7]. The modification of direction due to the configuration of the cranial vault, often results in images that are difficult to interpret: these physical factors explain the fact that the posterior and frontal regions are poorly accessible or not at all accessible via US examination.


Lateral Ventricle Posterior Fossa Fourth Ventricle Intraventricular Hemorrhage Cerebral Atrophy 
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© Springer-Verlag Berlin, Heidelberg 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. Couture
  • L. Cadier

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