Microcephaly Treatment & Management

Updated: Aug 23, 2021
  • Author: James J Reese, Jr, MD, MPH; Chief Editor: Stephen L Nelson, Jr, MD, PhD, FAACPDM, FAAN, FAAP, FANA  more...
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Approach Considerations

Outside of surgery for craniosynostosis, there is no treatment to normalize the head size. However, some metabolic diseases (such as phenylketonuria) lead to progressive problems over time, and early diagnosis and treatment then would prevent further degeneration.



Craniosynostosis warrants consultation with a neurosurgeon and/or craniofacial surgeon, to consider surgery to treat increased intracranial pressure or for cosmetic reasons. Concerns about seizures suggest the need for consultation with a child neurologist. According to the AAN Practice Parameter, there is no evidence to support or refute the use of a routine EEG as a screening test in children with microcephaly. Concerns about poor vision may suggest the need for consultation with a pediatric ophthalmologist. The AAN Practice Parameter suggests that routine ophthalmologic screening may be of benefit. [3]


Long-Term Monitoring

The head size should be tracked over time to make sure it is growing proportionally. Changes in the head circumference percentile should make the clinician consider further diagnostic workup as appropriate. Because children with microcephaly may have various comorbidities, they may require more thorough investigation than is typical at well-child checks.