Linear echoes in the fetal cisterna magna

D. H. Pretorius, C. E. Kallman, M. R. Grafe, N. E. Budorick, E. R. Stamm

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Linear echoes are seen in the fetal cisterna magna, (CM) on obstetrical sonography. These echoes often are paired, joining as they descend toward the base of the posterior fossa. Histologic correlation suggests that these echoes are most consistent with dural folds, which likely represent the inferior attachment of the falx cerebelli. A prospective series of 322 prenatal studies was performed in which the sonographer was asked to look for the linear echoes in the cisterna magna and image them. Linear echoes were identified in 84% of all fetuses studied. Identification of these echoes was dependent on CM size, in that they were seen less commonly when the CM was less than 3 mm in diameter. However, their identification was not dependent on gestational age. In addition, 18 fetuses with Dandy Walker cyst or Dandy Walker variant were evaluated and in 16 linear echoes were not seen. We conclude that recognition of normal anatomy within the fetal brain, specifically the fetal CM, is helpful for identifying abnormalities in the size of the CM, whether large or small.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)125-128
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Ultrasound in Medicine
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1992

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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