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February 26, 1982

Ultrasonic Demonstration In Utero of an Intracranial Teratoma

JAMA. 1982;247(8):1173. doi:10.1001/jama.1982.03320330069032

ALTHOUGH most fetal head enlargement is secondary to hydrocephalus, other etiologies, including tumor growth, must be considered. Technological improvements in ultrasound imaging have led to a greater definition of fetal pathological conditions and, as is shown by this article, allow a detailed study of such abnormalities.

Report of a Case  A 30-year-old woman, pregnant for the first time, underwent an ultrasonic examination demonstrating a 16-week fetus with normally displayed anatomy. This included multiple images of the intracranial structures. A repeated study was done near term to evaluate for placenta previa. At this time, an abnormal fetal head was demonstrated (Figure). An estimated cranial diameter of 10.5 cm was measured.The normal anatomic characteristics were replaced by bizarre cystic and echogenic regions filling the cranial vault. Fetal movements, although limited, were recorded in an otherwise normal-appearing term fetus. A cesarean section birth was performed the next day.The infant, weighing 4,800