Dandy-Walker malformation complex: correlation between ultrasonographic diagnosis and postmortem neuropathology.

Department of Pathology, University of California, San Francisco, California, USA.
Obstetrics and Gynecology (Impact Factor: 4.8). 03/2006; 107(3):685-93. DOI: 10.1097/01.AOG.0000200594.85483.8a
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT This autopsy-based study was designed to evaluate sonographic and neuropathologic findings of fetuses diagnosed prenatally with Dandy-Walker malformation complex.
The retrospective study encompassed a series of 44 autopsy cases from 2 tertiary referral centers with a prenatal ultrasound diagnosis of Dandy-Walker malformation complex between 1995 and 2003. Ultrasound and pathology data from the cases and from age-matched controls were reviewed in a blinded manner. An unequivocal diagnosis of Dandy-Walker malformation complex from ultrasonography or pathology archival images required significant hypoplasia or aplasia of the cerebellar vermis.
Neuropathologic examination failed to confirm the prenatal diagnosis of Dandy-Walker malformation complex in 59% (26/44, 95% confidence interval [CI] 44-72) of the cases. After standardized reevaluation of high quality archival sonograms and pathology images, concordance remained poor at 55% (6/11 cases, 95% CI 28-79). Sonographic features that favored concordance included marked enlargement of the cisterna magna (> or = 10 mm), complete aplasia of the vermis, and a trapezoid-shaped gap between the cerebellar hemispheres. This latter finding contrasted with a keyhole-shaped gap in fetuses with no cerebellar neuropathology.
Correlation between a prenatal ultrasound diagnosis of Dandy-Walker malformation complex and autopsy neuropathology findings is poor. Unequivocal prenatal sonographic diagnosis of Dandy-Walker malformation complex should be reserved for cases with the classic findings of Dandy-Walker malformation, including enlargement of the cisterna magna, aplasia of the vermis, and a trapezoid-shaped, rather than keyhole-shaped, interhemispheric gap.

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