Journal of Medical Ultrasonics

, Volume 46, Issue 1, pp 113–122 | Cite as

Three-dimensional sonographic minute structure analysis of fetal cerebellar vermis development and malformations: utilizing volume contrast imaging

  • Jing-xian Xie
  • Jian-hong You
  • Xiao-kang Chen
  • Yi-ming Su
  • Jin-rong Liu
  • Shan-shan Su
  • Min Hou
  • Guo-rong LvEmail author
Original Article



To obtain three-dimensional ultrasonic (3D US) structural details and biometrics of the fetal cerebellar vermis and evaluate the value of developmental and malformation identification.


The 3D US minute structure of the fetal cerebellar vermis in mid-sagittal view was detected in normal fetuses (n = 438; 16–41 weeks). Biometric sizes were measured to establish the stage-specific norms and reproducibility analysis. Additionally, 28 fetuses with suspected abnormal posterior fossa contents were assessed to analyze the clinical value.


The minute structure of normal fetuses, including cerebellar vermis contours and the fastigial recess of the fourth ventricle, were visible around Week 19. The main lobules and fissures were apparent around Week 22, and all nine lobules, fissures, and the fourth ventricle were clearly displayed by Week 28. Cerebellar vermis biometric sizes (anterior–posterior length, cranio-caudal length, circumference, and surface area (SA)) grew in a linear fashion with high reliability, especially SA measurements (for intraclass, ICC 0.989, 95% CI (0.980–0.994); for interclass, ICC 0.992, 95% CI (0.984–0.996)). On the middle sagittal section of 3D US, the SA reduced at least 50% in the Dandy–Walker group with no recognizable cerebellar vermis structures showing. The SA in vermian hypoplasia malformation reduced during \(\bar{x} - 2{\text{SD}}\) to 50% with the primary/secondary fissures absent or partly absent and arborization of the lobules reduced. That would be an important diagnosis and antidiastole clue. Combined with minute structural observation, sonographic diagnoses were accurate in 88% of cases.


Minute structures obtained by 3D US were clinically useful in the evaluation of cerebellar vermis development and cerebellar vermis malformations.


Three-dimensional ultrasonography Fetus Cerebellar vermis Malformation Minute structure 



We thank all the project participants for their contributions and Medjaden Bioscience Limited for assisting in the preparation of this manuscript.


This study was supported by Grants from the National Natural Science Foundation of China (no. 81271587) and the Key Program of Scientific Research of Fujian Medical University, P. R. China (no. 09ZD015) and the Natural Science Foundation of Fujian Province (no. 2015D015 & no. 2015J01363).

Compliance with ethical standards

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from patients and healthy controls in this study, and the study was approved by the Ethics Committee of the School of Medicine, Xiamen University.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.


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Copyright information

© The Japan Society of Ultrasonics in Medicine 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jing-xian Xie
    • 1
  • Jian-hong You
    • 2
  • Xiao-kang Chen
    • 3
  • Yi-ming Su
    • 4
  • Jin-rong Liu
    • 5
  • Shan-shan Su
    • 6
  • Min Hou
    • 7
  • Guo-rong Lv
    • 8
    • 9
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Obstetrics and GynecologyXiamen Maternity and Child Health Care HospitalXiamenPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Department of UltrasoundZhongshan Hospital of Xiamen UniversityXiamenPeople’s Republic of China
  3. 3.Department of Ultrasound, Children’s Hospital of Fudan University Xiamen BranchXiamen Children’s HospitalXiamenPeople’s Republic of China
  4. 4.Department of UltrasoundThe First Affiliated Hospital of Xiamen UniversityXiamenPeople’s Republic of China
  5. 5.Department of UltrasoundGuangzhou Women and Children Medical CenterGuangzhouPeople’s Republic of China
  6. 6.Department of UltrasoundThe Second Clinical Medical College of Fujian Medical UniversityQuanzhouPeople’s Republic of China
  7. 7.Department of UltrasoundAffiliated Hospital of Hebei UniversityBaodingPeople’s Republic of China
  8. 8.Department of Clinical MedicineQuanzhou Medical CollegeQuanzhouPeople’s Republic of China
  9. 9.QuanzhouPeople’s Republic of China

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