Hydrocephalus

Also known as: Hydrocephalus

What is Hydrocephalus?

Hydrocephalus is primarily an excessive accumulation of fluid in the brain. This excess of cerebrospinal fluid accumulation causes the fluid spaces of the brain to enlarge causing pressure on the surrounding brain. The causes of hydrocephalus may be congenital, following a bleed into the brain (intraventricular hemorrhage), infections, malformations of the brain or even brain tumors in certain locations of the brain. The treatment options include endoscopic third ventriculostomy, cauterization of the choroid plexus, shunt placement. 

 

Causes

Causes of hydrocephalus are still not well understood, but can be a result due to intraventricular hemorrhage, myelomeningocele, aqueductal stenosis, cerebrospinal fluid infection, head injury and brain tumor.


Hydrocephalus Signs and Symptoms

Hydrocephalus symptoms depend on many factors including age, the amount of brain damage and what is causing the buildup of CSF fluid. Some common symptoms of hydrocephalus in babies and older children include:

  • Vomiting and nausea
  • Headaches
  • Lethargy
  • Irritability


Hydrocephalus Treatment Options

Shunt placement is one hydrocephalus treatment option. A shunt is a valve that is connected to a catheter to divert excess cerebral spinal fluid to another part of the body for absorption. Our neurosurgeons use various types of shunt valves with differential pressure to treat hydrocephalus in babies and children. These options are determined based on each patient’s condition.

Endoscopic third ventriculostomy with choroid plexus coagulation is another hydrocephalus treatment option. This procedure creates an opening in the floor of the third ventricle to allow a free-flowing communication between the ventricular system and the subarachnoid spaces. Through evidence based research, it has been well known that adding cauterization of the choroid plexus to the third ventriculostomy has impacted positively to the success of ETVs to treat hydrocephalus.


Pediatric Neurosurgery

Part of the nationally recognized Nicklaus Children's Brain Institute®, the Division of Neurosurgery offers the most innovative ways to treat hydrocephalus in babies and children. There are only a few pediatric neurosurgical centers in the nation that offer endoscopic third ventriculostomy with choroid plexus coagulation to treat hydrocephalus in a select group of patients.


This page was last updated on: 6/12/2018 10:06:04 AM


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