Microcephaly Differential Diagnoses

Updated: Jun 10, 2016
  • Author: James J Reese, Jr, MD, MPH; Chief Editor: Amy Kao, MD  more...
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Diagnostic Considerations

The main differential consideration is to first determine if the patient has craniosynostosis, a problem with brain growth, or no issues beyond head size. If the etiology is determined to be a problem of brain growth, the clinician should then differentiate between a progressive or static insult.

The degree of microcephaly may play a role in the physician’s likelihood to pursue further workup. Children with a head circumference more than 3 standard deviations below normal are more likely to have underlying structural abnormalities than children with a head circumference between 2 and 3 standard deviations below normal. [3]


Differential Diagnoses