MR of the cerebral operculum: Abnormal opercular formation in infants and children

Cheng Yu Chen, Robert A. Zimmerman, Scott Faro, Beth Parrish, Zhiyue Wang, Larissa T. Bilaniuk, Ting Ywan Chou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


PURPOSE: To evaluate abnormalities of the cerebral operculum in infants and children and to propose the embryogenic basis of abnormal opercular formation as determined from MR imaging findings. METHODS: Eighty-six infants and children who had abnormally wide interopercular distances and/or distorted opercular topography seen on MR images were studied retrospectively. Clinically, patients presented with tonal abnormalities, macrocephaly, microcephaly, seizures, developmental delay, cerebral palsy, or facial dysmorphism. The abnormal opercula were compared with developing opercula at different stages of gestation. RESULTS: Among the 86 infants and children, two categories of opercular abnormalities were identified: an underdeveloped operculum (n = 64) and a malformed operculum (n = 22). The malformed operculum was further classified into three subtypes: nonformation of the operculum with lissencephaly (n = 1, 1%), abnormal opercular formation with pachygyria (n = 11, 13%), and nonformation or abnormal formation of the operculum without pachygyria or lissencephaly (n = 10, 12%). Two subtypes of the underdeveloped operculum were identified: an open operculum without a normal insula (n = 6, 7%) and an open operculum with a normal insula (n = 58, 67%). The five subtypes of abnormal opercular configuration showed a range of maturity that was comparable to the developing operculum at different ages. CONCLUSION: Opercular anomalies appear to follow sequentially predetermined normal steps in development. Arrest in opercular development or malformation may occur after an initial insult. MR imaging is the method of choice by which to identify these abnormalities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1303-1311
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican Journal of Neuroradiology
Issue number7
StatePublished - Aug 1996
Externally publishedYes


  • Brain, abnormalities and anomalies
  • Brain, growth and development
  • Brain, magnetic resonance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Clinical Neurology


Dive into the research topics of 'MR of the cerebral operculum: Abnormal opercular formation in infants and children'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this