What is Encephalocele?

Encephalocele is a birth defect that results in a hole in the skull through which brain tissue protrudes. In the Western Hemisphere, the most common encephaloceles, called occipital encephaloceles, are located in the back of the head. Occurring less frequently are frontoethmoidal encephaloceles which are located in the area around the eyes and nose. This type of encephalocele is most common in Asia. A small percentage of encephaloceles are located around the nasal cavity. Other brain malformations and craniofacial abnormalities often occur with encephaloceles. Associated abnormalities and symptoms of encephalocele may include hydrocephalus (excessive accumulation of cerebrospinal fluid in the brain), mirocephaly (abnormally small head), paralysis of the arms and legs, seizures, developmental delays, mental and growth retardation, and vision problems.

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