Medically reregarded by George Krucik, MD, MBA — Written by Amber Erickson Gabbey — Updated on September 17, 2018

What is macrocephaly?

Macrocephaly refers to an overly large head. It’s regularly a symptom of complications or problems in the brain.

You are watching: Why is my head bigger than my body

There’s a traditional used to specify macrocephaly: The circumference of a person’s head is more than two conventional deviations above average for their age. Or, their head is bigger than the 98th percentile.

Macrocephaly is generally a symptom of various other conditions. Benign familial macrocephaly is an inherited condition. It happens in families predisposed to having actually bigger heads.

Sometimes tright here is a difficulty with the brain, such as hydrocephalus or excess fluid. Underlying conditions will certainly need treatment.

Benign extra-axial collection is a problem wbelow there’s fluid in the brain. But this problem doesn’t require treatment because the amount of liquid is minor.

Other problems that can reason macrocephaly include:

certain genetic syndromes and also metabolic conditionssome kinds of infections

Some kids will have benign macrocephaly. And they won’t endure symptoms other than having a bigger head circumference.

In various other instances, youngsters may endure developpsychological delays, favor getting to discovering milestones. Other symptoms include:

psychological disabilities or delaysrapid head growthslowed development of the remainder of the body

Tbelow are factors that rise the likelihood of macrocephaly, favor genes. Familial macrocephaly is an inherited problem. It’s additionally assumed that kids via autism have actually a higher incidence of macrocephaly. One examine estimates 15 to 35 percent of youngsters with autism will have actually macrocephaly.

Tright here is no evidence that macrocephaly affects children of any type of particular sex, nationality, or race more regularly.

A pediatrician can diagnose macrocephaly. They will track an infant’s head dimensions over time. Your physician will certainly also perdevelop neurological tests. These have the right to incorporate a CT sdeserve to, ultrasound, or MRI to get a better look at the head and brain.

Because macrocephaly deserve to be a symptom, you physician will certainly inspect your infant’s head for a rise in pressure. Symptoms of boosted push include:


Your medical professional will certainly also look for bulging veins and eye problems. These symptoms require neurological evaluation to uncover the underlying difficulty and also its severity.

Be certain to tell your doctor if you have actually a household background of larger-than-average head dimension.

Treatment for macrocephaly will certainly depend on the diagnosis.

If tests don’t indicate problems, and also brain scans are normal, your physician will certainly continue to monitor you infant’s head. Parental fees are likewise advised to watch for:

a bulging soft spotvomitingabsence of interest in foodabnormal activities in the eyesextreme sleepingirritability

Studies on macrocephaly in adults are restricted. This is partially bereason head dimensions are regularly just taken throughout a baby’s breakthrough. Macrocephaly in adults is an occipitofrontal (head) circumference approximately 3 typical deviations over the average. It have the right to also be a mind weighing more than 1,800 grams. This is as a result of growth of cerebral tproblem. Most adults with macrocephaly don’t continue to prosper with adulthood.

Complications are rare in benign macrocephaly. But they have the right to happen. People with brain overdevelopment might suffer brainstem compression. This needs surgical procedure to decompush the brain stem.

People via macrocephaly regularly have actually hydrocephalus. This is a condition wbelow an abusually high amount of cerebrospinal fluid collects in the brain.

See more: Why Is An Electric Field Considered A Vector Quantity ? Electrostatics

Other complications include:

seizures or epilepsyperinatal risk factorsneurologic comorbidity, or the copresence of 2 conditions (this deserve to bring about various other complications and health problems)

Infants through benign familial macrocephaly generally prosper up with no major complications. In other instances, the outlook for macrocephaly relies on the underlying problem and also its severity.


Medically reregarded by George Krucik, MD, MBA — Written by Amber Erickchild Gabbey — Updated on September 17, 2018