Microcephaly is a condition in which a person"s head dimension is lot smaller 보다 that of rather of the same age and also sex. Head size is measured as the distance approximately the optimal of the head. A smaller than normal dimension is established using standardization charts.

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Microcephaly most frequently occurs due to the fact that the brain does not thrive at a common rate. The expansion of the skull is determined by mind growth. Brain growth takes place while a infant is in the womb and also during infancy.

Conditions that affect mind growth can reason smaller than typical head size. These encompass infections, genetic disorders, and also severe malnutrition.

Genetic conditions that cause microcephaly include:

Cornelia de Lange syndromeDown syndromeSeckel syndromeSmith-Lemli-Opitz syndromeTrisomy 21

Other problems that may lead to microcephaly include:

Uncontrolled phenylketonuria (PKU) in the motherMethylmercury poisoningUse of certain drugs throughout pregnancy, specifically alcohol and phenytoin

Becoming infected v the Zika virus when pregnant can also cause microcephaly. The Zika virus has actually been discovered in Africa, the south Pacific, tropical regions of Asia, and also in Brazil and also other components of south America, along with Mexico, central America, and also the Caribbean.

When to contact a clinical Professional

Most often, microcephaly is diagnosed at birth or throughout routine well-baby exams. Speak to her health care provider if friend think her infant"s head size is too little or not cultivation normally.

Call your provider if you or her partner has actually been to an area where Zika is present and also you are pregnant or thinking about becoming pregnant.

What to expect at your Office Visit

Most of the time, microcephaly is found during a routine exam. Head dimensions are part of every well-baby exams because that the very first 18 months. Tests take just a few seconds if the measuring ice is placed about the infant"s head.

The provider will save a record over time to determine:

What is the head circumference?Is the head growing at a slower price than the body?What various other symptoms space there?

It may additionally be advantageous to keep your own records of her baby"s growth. Speak to her provider if you an alert that the baby"s head expansion seems to it is in slowing down.

If her provider diagnoses your kid with microcephaly, you have to note it in her child"s personal medical records.



Centers for an illness Control and also Prevention website. Zika virus. Www.cdc.gov/zika/index.html. To update June 4, 2019. Accessed November 15, 2019.

Johansson MA, Mier-Y-Teran-Romero L, Reefhuis J, Gilboa SM, Hills SL. Zika and also the risk of microcephaly. N Engl J Med. 2016;375(1):1-4. PMID: 27222919 pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27222919/.

Kinsman SL, Johnston MV. Congenital anomalies that the central nervous system. In: Kliegman RM, St. Geme JW, Blum NJ, shah SS, Tasker RC, Wilson KM, eds. Nelson Textbook the Pediatrics. 21st ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 609.

Mizaa GM, Dobyns WB. Obstacle of brain size. In: Swaiman KF, Ashwal S, Ferriero DM, et al, eds. Swaiman"s Pediatric Neurology: Principles and also Practice. 6th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2017:chap 28.

Updated by: Neil K. Kaneshiro, MD, MHA, Clinical Professor that Pediatrics, college of Washington college of Medicine, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, clinical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

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