Fetal ventriculomegaly: Diagnosis, treatment, and future directions
OBJECTIVE To examine the long-term neuropsychological outcome of children with a prenatal diagnosis of asymmetric ventricles or unilateral ventriculomegaly. DESIGN A clinic-based neuropsychological study. SETTING Paediatric neurology clinic. POPULATION Thirty-three of 41 children, previously assessed at kindergarten age, with asymmetric ventricles or unilateral ventriculomegaly identified in utero, were recruited at school age for a neuropsychological follow-up. METHODS All children, 9-11 years of age, underwent a battery of neuropsychological tests and the parents completed behavioural rating questionnaires. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES Results of the neuropsychological assessment and parents' questionnaires. RESULTS There were no significant differences between children diagnosed with either asymmetric ventricles or unilateral ventriculomegaly in most parameters relative to the general population; the full-scale IQ scores were 103.13 ± 12.43 and 103.56 ± 10.5, respectively. A significantly lower performance was found only on one measure of attention among the unilateral ventriculomegaly group and on writing speed tasks among the asymmetric ventricles group. Both study groups showed significantly higher scores than expected in the normal population on a verbal fluency test. Comparison of both groups combined with the normative population yielded significantly lower scores only in attention tests. Yet, the clinical population showed significantly higher scores on writing accuracy, processing speed and verbal fluency and lower rates of executive dysfunction. CONCLUSIONS Asymmetric ventricles or unilateral ventriculomegaly identified in utero does not appear to affect long-term mental development and school achievements. Further prospective research on a larger sample is needed in order to confirm our findings.