Temporary Enlargement of the Subarachnoid Space in Very Premature Infants

John O. Leighton, Manon J. Benders, Frans J. Walther*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


The authors used a high-frequency, 10-MHz ultrasound transducer to improve near field de- tails on cranial ultrasound scans to detect enlargement of the subarachnoid space without ventriculomegaly on the first day of life in 14 of 17 premature infants on mechanical ventilation for respiratory distress syndrome secondary to lung immaturity and in 1 of 9 premature infants with mild or no respiratory problems. Factors correlated with this finding were a birth weight of less than 1250 g (P ≤ 0.05), gestational age of 28 weeks or less (P ≤ 0.02), presence of respiratory distress (P ≤ 0.01), and necessity of mechanical ventilation (P ≤ 0.001). Enlargement of the subarachnoid space regressed completely during the neonatal period. Enlargement of the subarachnoid space in very premature infants is indicative of brain immaturity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)237-240
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Diagnostic Medical Sonography
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1993


  • cranial ultrasound
  • premature infants
  • subarachnoid space


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