Transfontanelar ultrasound

What is transfontanelar ultrasound?

Transfontanelar ultrasound is a diagnostic test that uses very high frequency sounds, also known as ultrasound, to view the organs of the body in children. These ultrasounds are emitted by a probe called a translocator that varies according to the part of the body to be studied.

It is a good method to detect possible malformations, tumors, hemorrhages or pathologies in newborns.

What does it consist of?

The test consists of performing an ultrasound through the fontanelles, which are the spaces between the bones of the skull of newborns and infants. This allows the head to mold and pass through the birth canal, as well as providing the brain with enough space to develop.

In the case of ultrasound, the fontanelles act as a window to see the inside of the skull through the probes. In general, the anterior fontanel, located at the top of the head, is the one that can provide the most information, both in newborns, infants and premature infants.

Why is it performed?

Transfontanelar ultrasound is performed to observe the inside of the skull, in addition to being able to study the arteries, the cerebellum and the rest of the organs located inside the cranial cavity and diagnose pathologies associated with these organs.

Ultrasound can also detect if there is fluid in parts that should not, so it is very useful to see possible bleeding inside the skull. This test is even used to detect tumors, malformations and infarcts or thrombi inside the arteries.

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Transfontanelar ultrasound can detect malformations, lesions and pathologies in newborns.

Preparation for transfontanelar ultrasound

This type of ultrasound does not require any type of preparation, since it is also performed without anesthesia and is not uncomfortable or painful. It is not necessary to give the patient any medication or contrast material before or after the test.

What does the test feel like?

The test uses high-frequency sounds that are harmless to humans, so it is not uncomfortable or painful for the newborn. On the other hand, it does not use radiation like other tests such as radiography or tomography, also known as CT. It is therefore an ideal imaging technique for premature infants, newborns and infants.

Meaning of abnormal results

Abnormal results in a transfontanelar ultrasound may be the detection of some pathology or malformation in an organ. These can range from lesions, hemorrhages, tumors, infarcts and thrombi, among other diseases.

If the specialist obtains an abnormal result after the test, it is possible to refer the patient to another specialist in order to carry out an appropriate treatment according to the pathology suffered by the newborn.


Transfontanelar ultrasound may not be entirely useful if there are problems arising from complicated births, if there are complex malformations or lesions in specific parts of the brain. In these cases, another diagnostic test that can provide more accurate results is magnetic resonance imaging.