Levene index

Last revised by Dr Antonio Navarro-Ballester on 15 Oct 2020

The Levene index is the distance between the falx and the lateral wall of the anterior horn in the coronal plane at the level of the third ventricle. 

It is useful as a marker of ventricular volume and thus has been proposed as a helpful biomarker in the diagnosis of hydrocephalus1.

Cranial ultrasound through the anterior fontanelle in infants allows a wide view of the lateral ventricles. Measurement of the ventricular system should be done in an easy reproducible sonographic plane. A coronal section will be chosen in which the lateral ventricles are observed, in a location slightly posterior to the foramen of Monro.

Up to 40 weeks of gestational age, the Levene index should be used for ventricular measurement2.

Fixed thresholds, such as 4 mm above the 97th centile, are often used as an indication for neurosurgical treatment independent of the birth weight and other considerations of the infant’s condition and age3,4,5.


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Cases and figures

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