Prenatal visualisation of the torcular herophili by means of a Doppler technology highly sensitive for low-velocity flow in the expert assessment of the posterior fossa: a prospective study

A Dall'Asta, G Grisolia, N Volpe, Gbl Schera, F Sorrentino, T Frusca, T Ghi
BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology 2020 July 3

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the usefulness of a Doppler technology highly sensitive for low-velocity flow in the antenatal imaging of the torcular herophili (TH) in the second trimester of pregnancy.

DESIGN: Prospective study.

SETTING: Referral Fetal Medicine Unit.

POPULATION: Non-consecutive series of singleton pregnancies submitted to antenatal neurosonogram between 20 and 28 weeks of gestation.

METHODS: A midsagittal section of the fetal brain was obtained by insonating through the anterior fontanelle, then the MV-Flow™ and LumiFlow™ presets were selected to visualise the TH as the posterior confluence of the superior sagittal sinus and the straight sinus.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Evaluation of the anatomic relationship of the TH with the 'transpalatal line' joining the upper bony palate to the fetal skull.

RESULTS: A total of 99 pregnant women were recruited, including one fetus with open spina bifida, one with Dandy-Walker malformation (DWM) and two with Blake's pouch cysts. In normal fetuses, the TH appeared to lie on or just below the 'transpalatal line'. In the cases of Blake's pouch cyst, the position of the TH appeared normal if compared with controls, whereas in DWM a supra-elevated position of the TH in respect of the transpalatal line was demonstrated. Finally, in the fetus with Chiari II malformation the TH was identified below the 'transpalatal plane'.

CONCLUSIONS: Prenatal ultrasound visualisation of the TH by means of newly developed Doppler technologies characterised by high sensitivity for low-velocity flow is feasible and allows the indirect evaluation of the insertion of cerebellar tentorium in the second trimester.

TWEETABLE ABSTRACT: Prenatal imaging of the torcular herophili using a Doppler technology highly sensitive for low-velocity flow.

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