Hydrocephalus transillumination

Transillumination of the skull was first described in 1831 by Richard Bright and was later recognized as the first form of light-based diagnosis of hydrocephalus.  Over time, the technique was modified and used to diagnose intracranial hemorrhage in the newborn before the availability of ultrasonography.   It has since been used as a screening procedure for infants with macrocephaly (large head) and those suspected of having a subdural effusion, subdural hematoma, hydrocephalus, hydranencephaly, porencephaly, increased intracranial pressure and even skull fractures and nutritional deficiencies. (from Canadian Medical Assoc J)

image from geneticist tumblr

In the photo above, the head appears red because a bright light is shining through a skull that is largely full of cerebral spinal fluid.

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