Real-time ultrasound was used to make exact measurements from the lateral wall of the body of the lateral ventricle to the falx (the ventricular index) in 273 infants of varying gestational ages. The measurement performed in an axial plane through the temporoparietal bone correlated closely with an actual measurement made in coronal plane in 50 infants. A cross-sectional centile chart was drawn up of the normal range for this measurement from 27 to 42 weeks' postmenstrual age. A further chart showing the rate of change of the ventricular index allowed growth of the ventricles to be assessed in a longitudinal manner. Use of these charts permits early detection of hydrocephalus or dilated ventricles secondary to cerebral atrophy.
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