Neonatal cranial sonography: ultrasound findings in neonatal meningitis—a pictorial review
Neonatal bacterial meningitis is a common manifestation of late onset neonatal sepsis. Cranial sonography (CRS) has a crucial role in assessment of infants with clinical suspicion of bacterial meningitis as well as follows up of its complications. CRS is performed with high frequency transducer through anterior fontanelle in both coronal and sagittal planes. Various sonographic findings range from echogenic and widened sulci, ventriculomegaly, ventriculitis, hydrocephalus, extra-axial fluid collections, cerebritis and brain abscess. Sonography is extremely beneficial in evaluating intraventricular contents, especially debris and intraventricular septations. Linear high frequency probe along with color Doppler interrogation are of utmost importance in evaluating extra-axial fluid collection and helps differentiating it from benign subarachnoid space enlargement. Due to low cost, easy portability, speed of imaging, no need for sedation and above all lack of ionizing radiation make it superior to other cross sectional imaging, like CT and MRI, in evaluation of these sick neonates. Apart from textbooks, there is paucity of recently available literature on cranial sonographic findings in neonatal meningitis. This article is written with an educational intent to review the spectrum of findings in neonatal meningitis, with stress on findings that will be beneficial in the clinical practice.