Discussion of Encephalocele
- Intracranial tissue that herniates through a defect in the cranium results in an encephalocele.
- Such lesions are called meningoceles when they contain only meninges
- Called meningoencephaloceles if brain tissue is included in the herniated tissue.
- They occur in one of every 4,000 live births.
- Most commonly occipital in location (75% of cases).
- Other locations: frontoethmoidal in 15% of cases and basal in 10%.
- Surgery is the treatment used for encephaloceles.
- Frontoethmoidal encephaloceles are more common in South and Southeast Asian populations.
- Frontoethmoidal encephaloceles manifest as a clinically visible mass along the nose.
- The intracranial root of most frontoethmoidal encephaloceles lies at the foramen cecum, a small ostium located at the bottom of a small depression anterior to the crista galli and formed by the closure of the frontal and ethmoid bones.
- Basal encephaloceles are internal and are not generally externally visible, although they may manifest as a lump or bump in the oropharynx or nasopharynx.
 Imaging Findings for Encephalocele
- MR imaging is the best imaging modality for defining the contents of an encephalocele prior to surgery.
- High-resolution CT may also be used to display the bone anatomy, but the intracranial connection is best defined with MR imaging.
- The extent of cerebral tissue in an encephalocele is also better defined with MR imaging, which aids in prognosis and surgical planning.
Patient #1: Fetal MRI images demonstrate an encephalocele
 See Also
 External Links
 References for Encephalocele
- Fanny E. Morón, Michael C. Morriss, Jeremy J. Jones, and Jill V. Hunter. Lumps and Bumps on the Head in Children: Use of CT and MR Imaging in Solving the Clinical Diagnostic Dilemma. RadioGraphics 2004 24: 1655-1674.