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Enlarged Subarachnoid Spaces
Chang Yueh Ho, MD
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KEY FACTS

  • Terminology

    • Imaging

      • Top Differential Diagnoses

        • Pathology

          • Clinical Issues

            • Diagnostic Checklist

              TERMINOLOGY

              • Abbreviations

                • Physiologic subarachnoid space (SAS) enlargement
              • Synonyms

                • Benign subarachnoid space enlargement
                • Benign external hydrocephalus, benign extracerebral fluid collections of infancy
                • Benign communicating hydrocephalus, physiologic extraventricular obstructive hydrocephalus
              • Definitions

                • Idiopathic enlargement of SAS during 1st year of life

              IMAGING

              • General Features

                • Radiographic Findings

                  • CT Findings

                    • MR Findings

                      • Ultrasonographic Findings

                        • Angiographic Findings

                          • Nonvascular Interventions

                            • Imaging Recommendations

                              DIFFERENTIAL DIAGNOSIS

                                PATHOLOGY

                                • General Features

                                  • Staging, Grading, & Classification

                                    • Gross Pathologic & Surgical Features

                                      • Microscopic Features

                                        CLINICAL ISSUES

                                        • Presentation

                                          • Demographics

                                            • Natural History & Prognosis

                                              • Treatment

                                                DIAGNOSTIC CHECKLIST

                                                • Consider

                                                  • Image Interpretation Pearls

                                                    Selected References

                                                    1. Marino MA et al: Benign external hydrocephalus in infants. A single centre experience and literature review. Neuroradiol J. 27(2):245-50, 2014
                                                    2. Sun M et al: Diffusion tensor imaging findings in young children with benign external hydrocephalus differ from the normal population. Childs Nerv Syst. 28(2):199-208, 2012
                                                    3. Zahl SM et al: Benign external hydrocephalus: a review, with emphasis on management. Neurosurg Rev. 34(4):417-32, 2011
                                                    4. Hellbusch LC: Benign extracerebral fluid collections in infancy: clinical presentation and long-term follow-up. J Neurosurg. 107(2 Suppl):119-25, 2007
                                                    5. Kumar R: External hydrocephalus in small children. Childs Nerv Syst. 22(10):1237-41, 2006
                                                    6. Muenchberger H et al: Idiopathic macrocephaly in the infant: long-term neurological and neuropsychological outcome. Childs Nerv Syst. 22(10):1242-8, 2006
                                                    7. Girard NJ et al: Ventriculomegaly and pericerebral CSF collection in the fetus: early stage of benign external hydrocephalus? Childs Nerv Syst. 17(4-5):239-45, 2001
                                                    8. Lam WW et al: Ultrasonographic measurement of subarachnoid space in normal infants and children. Pediatr Neurol. 25(5):380-4, 2001
                                                    9. Suara RO et al: Benign subarachnoid space enlargement of infancy. J Natl Med Assoc. 93(2):70-3, 2001
                                                    10. Fessell DP et al: Sonography of extraaxial fluid in neurologically normal infants with head circumference greater than or equal to the 95th percentile for age. J Ultrasound Med. 19(7):443-7, 2000
                                                    11. Papasian NC et al: A theoretical model of benign external hydrocephalus that predicts a predisposition towards extra-axial hemorrhage after minor head trauma. Pediatr Neurosurg. 33(4):188-93, 2000
                                                    12. Prassopoulos P et al: The size of the intra- and extraventricular cerebrospinal fluid compartments in children with idiopathic benign widening of the frontal subarachnoid space. Neuroradiology. 37(5):418-21, 1995
                                                    13. Aoki N: Extracerebral fluid collections in infancy: role of magnetic resonance imaging in differentiation between subdural effusion and subarachnoid space enlargement. J Neurosurg. 81(1):20-3, 1994
                                                    14. Wilms G et al: CT and MR in infants with pericerebral collections and macrocephaly: benign enlargement of the subarachnoid spaces versus subdural collections. AJNR Am J Neuroradiol. 14(4):855-60, 1993
                                                    15. Hamza M et al: Benign extracerebral fluid collections: a cause of macrocrania in infancy. Pediatr Neurol. 3(4):218-21, 1987
                                                    16. Maytal J et al: External hydrocephalus: radiologic spectrum and differentiation from cerebral atrophy. AJR Am J Roentgenol. 148(6):1223-30, 1987
                                                    17. Carolan PL et al: Benign extra-axial collections of infancy. Pediatr Neurosci. 12(3):140-4, 1985-1986
                                                    18. Robertson WC Jr et al: Benign subdural collections of infancy. J Pediatr. 94(3):382-6, 1979
                                                    Related Anatomy
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                                                    Related Differential Diagnoses
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                                                    References
                                                    Tables

                                                    Tables

                                                    KEY FACTS

                                                    • Terminology

                                                      • Imaging

                                                        • Top Differential Diagnoses

                                                          • Pathology

                                                            • Clinical Issues

                                                              • Diagnostic Checklist

                                                                TERMINOLOGY

                                                                • Abbreviations

                                                                  • Physiologic subarachnoid space (SAS) enlargement
                                                                • Synonyms

                                                                  • Benign subarachnoid space enlargement
                                                                  • Benign external hydrocephalus, benign extracerebral fluid collections of infancy
                                                                  • Benign communicating hydrocephalus, physiologic extraventricular obstructive hydrocephalus
                                                                • Definitions

                                                                  • Idiopathic enlargement of SAS during 1st year of life

                                                                IMAGING

                                                                • General Features

                                                                  • Radiographic Findings

                                                                    • CT Findings

                                                                      • MR Findings

                                                                        • Ultrasonographic Findings

                                                                          • Angiographic Findings

                                                                            • Nonvascular Interventions

                                                                              • Imaging Recommendations

                                                                                DIFFERENTIAL DIAGNOSIS

                                                                                  PATHOLOGY

                                                                                  • General Features

                                                                                    • Staging, Grading, & Classification

                                                                                      • Gross Pathologic & Surgical Features

                                                                                        • Microscopic Features

                                                                                          CLINICAL ISSUES

                                                                                          • Presentation

                                                                                            • Demographics

                                                                                              • Natural History & Prognosis

                                                                                                • Treatment

                                                                                                  DIAGNOSTIC CHECKLIST

                                                                                                  • Consider

                                                                                                    • Image Interpretation Pearls

                                                                                                      Selected References

                                                                                                      1. Marino MA et al: Benign external hydrocephalus in infants. A single centre experience and literature review. Neuroradiol J. 27(2):245-50, 2014
                                                                                                      2. Sun M et al: Diffusion tensor imaging findings in young children with benign external hydrocephalus differ from the normal population. Childs Nerv Syst. 28(2):199-208, 2012
                                                                                                      3. Zahl SM et al: Benign external hydrocephalus: a review, with emphasis on management. Neurosurg Rev. 34(4):417-32, 2011
                                                                                                      4. Hellbusch LC: Benign extracerebral fluid collections in infancy: clinical presentation and long-term follow-up. J Neurosurg. 107(2 Suppl):119-25, 2007
                                                                                                      5. Kumar R: External hydrocephalus in small children. Childs Nerv Syst. 22(10):1237-41, 2006
                                                                                                      6. Muenchberger H et al: Idiopathic macrocephaly in the infant: long-term neurological and neuropsychological outcome. Childs Nerv Syst. 22(10):1242-8, 2006
                                                                                                      7. Girard NJ et al: Ventriculomegaly and pericerebral CSF collection in the fetus: early stage of benign external hydrocephalus? Childs Nerv Syst. 17(4-5):239-45, 2001
                                                                                                      8. Lam WW et al: Ultrasonographic measurement of subarachnoid space in normal infants and children. Pediatr Neurol. 25(5):380-4, 2001
                                                                                                      9. Suara RO et al: Benign subarachnoid space enlargement of infancy. J Natl Med Assoc. 93(2):70-3, 2001
                                                                                                      10. Fessell DP et al: Sonography of extraaxial fluid in neurologically normal infants with head circumference greater than or equal to the 95th percentile for age. J Ultrasound Med. 19(7):443-7, 2000
                                                                                                      11. Papasian NC et al: A theoretical model of benign external hydrocephalus that predicts a predisposition towards extra-axial hemorrhage after minor head trauma. Pediatr Neurosurg. 33(4):188-93, 2000
                                                                                                      12. Prassopoulos P et al: The size of the intra- and extraventricular cerebrospinal fluid compartments in children with idiopathic benign widening of the frontal subarachnoid space. Neuroradiology. 37(5):418-21, 1995
                                                                                                      13. Aoki N: Extracerebral fluid collections in infancy: role of magnetic resonance imaging in differentiation between subdural effusion and subarachnoid space enlargement. J Neurosurg. 81(1):20-3, 1994
                                                                                                      14. Wilms G et al: CT and MR in infants with pericerebral collections and macrocephaly: benign enlargement of the subarachnoid spaces versus subdural collections. AJNR Am J Neuroradiol. 14(4):855-60, 1993
                                                                                                      15. Hamza M et al: Benign extracerebral fluid collections: a cause of macrocrania in infancy. Pediatr Neurol. 3(4):218-21, 1987
                                                                                                      16. Maytal J et al: External hydrocephalus: radiologic spectrum and differentiation from cerebral atrophy. AJR Am J Roentgenol. 148(6):1223-30, 1987
                                                                                                      17. Carolan PL et al: Benign extra-axial collections of infancy. Pediatr Neurosci. 12(3):140-4, 1985-1986
                                                                                                      18. Robertson WC Jr et al: Benign subdural collections of infancy. J Pediatr. 94(3):382-6, 1979