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Keywords:

  • abnormalities;
  • corpus callosum;
  • magnetic resonance imaging;
  • pregnancy outcome;
  • prenatal diagnosis;
  • ultrasonography

Abstract

Objectives

To report, in a population of fetuses diagnosed with partial agenesis of the corpus callosum (PACC), the sonographic characterization, incidence of cerebral, extracerebral and chromosomal anomalies, and outcome. In addition, in some of our cases a comparison was made between findings on ultrasound and fetal magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).

Methods

This was a retrospective study of all cases of PACC seen at two referral centers for prenatal diagnosis of congenital anomalies over a 10-year period. The following variables were assessed: indication for referral, additional cerebral and extracerebral malformations, chromosomal abnormalities, and pregnancy and fetal/neonatal outcome.

Results

Among 54 cases of fetal agenesis of the corpus callosum detected in the referral centers during the observation period, PACC was diagnosed at prenatal sonography in 20 cases and confirmed at pre/postnatal MRI and necropsy examinations in 19 cases (35%). These 19 constituted the study group. The diagnosis was made in the sagittal planes and in 12 cases it was made prior to 24 weeks. In most cases the indication for referral was the presence of indirect signs of callosal anomalies, such as colpocephaly. In 10 cases PACC occurred in association with other anomalies and in nine it was isolated. MRI was particularly useful for demonstrating some additional cerebral anomalies such as late sulcation, migrational pathological conditions and heterotopia. Regarding pregnancy outcome, of those diagnosed before 24 weeks which had associated anomalies, all except two were terminated. Of the nine cases with isolated PACC, all were liveborn. Follow-up was available in eight, and two of these (25%) showed evidence of significant developmental delay. In our series the outcome of isolated PACC was not better than that of complete agenesis of the corpus callosum reported in other series.

Conclusions

PACC can be diagnosed reliably and characterized in prenatal life. The sonographic sign present in most cases is colpocephaly. Prenatal MRI can be performed to confirm the diagnosis. It is particularly useful to demonstrate some additional cerebral anomalies such as late sulcation, migrational pathological conditions and heterotopia. The relatively poor survival rate is due to the high rate of terminations and associated major anomalies. Copyright © 2006 ISUOG. Published by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.