What is a Prominent Ventricle?

QUESTION

Dear Ms Ultrasound,
I was very perturbed at my last OB appointment. My doctor told me that the ultrasound technician said there was a prominent ventricle on my baby's 30 week ultrasound. She also said that the radiologist had not yet looked at the ultrasound and that she was still waiting for his interpretation.

What is a prominent ventricle? Is is dangerous to my baby? What could be the side-effects of this condition?

Please let me know. I am so worried.

ANSWER

Hello, I agree with you. I would have been slightly perturbed too. It is usually a good idea to wait for the report from the radiologist before sharing information that may cause anxiety.

I will tell you it is not uncommon to see what we call "prominent ventricles" in a fetal head. I am assuming they are talking about the baby's head and not the heart, because there are ventricles in the heart, too.

What will happen if the radiologist concurs is you will go back in for a follow-up ultrasound, probably in the next 2 weeks. The ventricles, which are areas in the brain that contain cerebral-spinal fluid, will be measured again. If they are still prominent, you will probably be sent to a perinatalogist, a doctor who specializes in higher risk pregnancies.

Now that I have continued to cause you anxiety, I will tell you, most of the time when a Mother returns for her follow-up ultrasound everything is OK.I would suggest you talk with your doctor about the official findings of the ultrasound, and what it all means. Don't be afraid to ask question after question, until you have a full understanding of what is going on. Many times people leave their doctor's office with more questions then they came in with. Ask! Ask! Ask!

Let me know after your next visit and/or ultrasound if you have any more questions.

-- Jane, RDMS

Jane Foley

Jane Foley has worked as a Sonographer (Ultrasound Technologist) since 1979. Jane has lived and worked in many parts of the world including Saudi Arabia. She is a Registered Diagnostic Medical Sonographer or RDMS. She pulls a wealth of information from her experience in the field of Radiology and her interactions with such a broad cross-section of cultures she has visited. She now makes her home on the island of Maui with her English husband, Michael.