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Colpocephaly is a descriptive term for a disproportionate prominence of the occipital horns of the lateral ventricles. It can result from a wide range of congenital insults.

Patients may present with motor abnormalities, cognitive deficit, visual abnormalities, and seizures. 

Radiologically, diagnosis of colpocephaly becomes more likely when the ratio of the posterior horn to anterior horn of lateral ventricle width (P/A ratio) is ≥3 2.

The P/A ratio also helps to distinguish colpocephaly from normal pressure hydrocephalus, which is an important differential diagnosis. 

Colpocephaly was initially reported by American psychiatrist Clemens E Benda (1898-1975) 4 in 1941 2.

The term comes from the Greek: kolpos (hollow) and kephalos (head); and it was coined by the neurologist Paul Ivan Yakovlev and the neuropathologist Richard C Wadsworth in 1946 1,3.

Article information

rID: 9590
Section: Gamuts
Tag: refs
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Colpocephalic brain

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Cases and figures

  • Case 1: with dysgenesis of corpus callosum
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  • Case 2: with agenesis of the corpus callosum
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  • Case 3
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  • Case 4: with concurrent lissencephaly spectrum
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  • Case 5
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  • with agenesis of corpus callosum
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