Neonatal brain sonography is part of routine clinical practice in neonatal intensive care units, but ultrasound imaging of the posterior fossa has gained increasing attention since the burden of perinatal acquired posterior fossa abnormalities and their impact on motor and cognitive neurodevelopmental outcome have been recognized. Although magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is often superior, posterior fossa abnormalities can be suspected or detected by optimized cranial ultrasound (CUS) scans, which allow an early and bed-side diagnosis and monitoring through sequential scans over a long period of time. Different ultrasound appearances and injury patterns of posterior fossa abnormalities are described according to gestational age at birth and characteristics of the pathogenetic insult. The aim of this review article is to describe options to improve posterior fossa sequential CUS image quality, including the use of supplemental acoustic windows, to show standard views and normal ultrasound anatomy of the posterior fossa, and to describe the ultrasound characteristics of acquired posterior fossa lesions in preterm and term infants with effect on long-term outcome. The limitations and pitfalls of CUS and the role of MRI are discussed.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health