What do you need to know about encephalocele imaging?
Overview. Encephalocele represents one end of the spectrum of open neural tube diagnoses.  With ultrasonography (US) scanning, the diagnosis is based on the herniation of a spherical, fluid-filled structure, more correctly diagnosed as a meningocele or brain parenchyma (encephalocele) beyond the calvarial confines.
What is the prognosis for encephalocele in fetus?
The cause and effect, however, is unclear and controversial. The prognosis is variable depending on the presence of associated anomalies and the presence of microcephaly (carries a much poorer prognosis). A Cesarian delivery may be considered to allow for less traumatic birth for the fetal head.
Are there any classification systems for encephaloceles?
Numerous classification systems exist for encephaloceles, many of which are only of subspecialty interest, and most use very similar terminology, sometimes with different meanings 7. As a result reading about this topic can be frustrating.
What kind of brain defect is an encephalocele?
Encephalocele. Encephalocele, also known as meningoencephalocele, is a form of neural tube defect and a type of cephalocele where brain tissue and overlying meninges herniate out through a defect in the cranium.
Can a MRI detect encephalocele in the sphenoid bone?
US scanning may reveal a bony defect in the sphenoid bone that is associated with an overlying soft-tissue mass, but the mantle of the brain tissue in the encephalocele is often difficult to detect. In these cases, MRI is useful.
Can a cystic hygroma be mistaken for an encephalocele?
Occipital encephaloceles can be confused with a cystic hygroma, which has no cranial vault defect and contains no brain tissue.A high cervical meningocele also can mimic an encephalocele. A frontal encephalocele may be mistaken for a nasal teratoma; both conditions are rare, and the prognosis for each of them is poor.
What kind of brain tissue is involved in frontal encephaloceles?
Frontal encephaloceles almost always contain brain tissue and involve the bridge of the nose (60%), as well as the nasal cavity (30%). Parietal encephaloceles are associated with hydrocephalus, aqueduct stenosis, Arnold-Chiari malformation, microcephaly, and Dandy-Walker cysts.