Ultrasound of the brain in infants and children


Program screening research children’s this inspection as ultrasound of the brain in infants is often assigned a pediatric neurologist. The second name of this method is neurosonography. Parents of toddlers often wonder: how this study is safe and why it is prescribed by a doctor?

The brain coordinates the work of all organs and systems, as well as his health and well-being directly depends on the functioning of the organism. A significant leap in the development of children in the first months of their life requires a well-functioning performance of its functions the Central nervous system, which controls the brain. In the neonatal period is very important not to miss the state of the brain differs from the norm in order to make the necessary correction.

A little bit of neurosonography and Doppler ultrasound

The bone protects the human brain from most possible damage, including the effects of electromagnetic radiation. For ultrasound it is necessary that the sensor caught the reflection of sound waves from denser tissues and the device with a screen has transformed the information in the image. However, bone tissue does not transmit ultrasound through itself, and in order to conduct a study of the brain of the newborn, it is necessary to use the so-called «acoustic Windows», or fontanel.

Spring – unclassified bone area of the skull, enabling it to the bones during childbirth to move slightly relative to each other. Is normal in a newborn a two – parietal, which is closed to a year and six months, and occipital, growing to three or four months. The parietal Fontanelle is diamond shape with a size of 20-25х20-25 mm, the occipital, the shape of a triangle.

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The more «acoustic window», the greater the area of the brain can be explored, and to obtain more objective information.

Another study, which the neurologist can recommend to do a newborn is Doppler or ultrasound of the brain vessels and neck (Doppler ultrasound). At Doppler study, the device detects the movement of blood through the vessels, which reflects the ultrasound. The flow velocity affects the frequency of the sensor signal, which is compared in a computer with a norm or standard. Method of ultrasound diagnostics allows to assess if the disruption of blood flow in the brain, and to what extent it is expressed, it combines traditional ultrasound and Doppler study.

In some cases, is prescribed by a doctor such a study

Ultrasound of blood vessels of the brain and neck is performed for certain indications. There are no restrictions on the minimum age, Doppler ultrasound make even infants, as long as the weight of the baby was more than a kilogram. The main indications for Doppler ultrasound of vessels of head and neck of the newborn immediately after birth:

  • Deep prematurity (two months or more).
  • The child’s weight at birth less than 2800 g.
  • There are signs of CNS lesions and malformations.
  • There is a suspicion on an intrauterine infection.
  • The birth was sudden or protracted.
  • A birth injury.
  • Rhesus-conflict.
  • The need for intensive care babies and after.
  • Suspected pathology of the fetal brain during pregnancy.

Indications for Doppler ultrasound of vessels of head and neck in children under the age of 1 month:

  • Childbirth with use of forceps.
  • Repeated Doppler study of underweight and premature babies.
  • Malformations and unusual shape of the head, paresis, strabismus, torticollis.
  • Repeat Doppler study in children with birth trauma.
  • Frequent regurgitation, restless behavior infants.
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Doppler examination of the vessels of the head and neck is made for children older than one month in the following cases:

  • Genetic diseases.
  • Injuries to the head.
  • At pathologies of the brain (hydrocephalus, intracerebral abscess, ischemia of the brain substance).
  • At pathologies of the nervous system, after encephalitis and meningitis.

The main advantage of Doppler ultrasound of the blood vessels of the brain and neck is its low cost, ease of implementation, and safety.

If the diagnosis requires clarification, newborns do the MRI under General anesthesia to ensure immobility during the study.

Preparations for the diagnosis

If your child is assigned to an ultrasound or a Doppler study, parents interested in what measures they can take to prepare for the inspection. This procedure requires no training, enough the baby was in a good mood. He can sleep or awake – it does not matter for the effectiveness of the research, as long as the child behaved calmly.

The only caveat, the observance of which is required in Doppler ultrasound of vessels of head and neck – children need to feed for a half hour before the test. Doppler study takes about twenty minutes to make a neurosonography in five to ten minutes.

What happens during the study

Data for the study was prepared with the help of the sensor, often through the Fontanelle and the parietal temporal region. The sensor is applied to a special gel is colorless and odorless. The doctor conducting ultrasound measurements of 12 standard indicators of brain and neck vessels. They are verified against a normal, reference values, on the basis of this analysis is the preliminary diagnosis.

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To appoint further treatment and to observe the dynamics of development in the future will be pediatric neurologist. Treatment can take several months, in the control period have to repeat the examination. Unfortunately, often in infants is a serious problem of CNS can have very minor symptoms.

Note that after 12 months of neurosonography may not be possible due to the fact that the spring was overgrown by bone tissue.

Methods studies of the brain using ultrasound safe, informative and easy to conduct in infants. Analyzes the results and prescribes treatment pediatric neurologist. In difficult cases it is necessary to repeat this process every month to evaluate the dynamics of the development of pathology.