What is Hydrocephalus?

Also known as: water on the brain, fluid in the brain

The brain and spinal cord are normally surrounded by a fluid produced by vessels (the choroid plexus) in the brain called cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). CSF normally flows through the cavities of the brain (ventricles) and circulates around the brain and spinal cord, production being balanced by reabsorption into the bloodstream.

Hydrocephalus ("hydro" means water, "cephalus" means the brain) is primarily an excessive accumulation of fluid in the brain. This excess of cerebrospinal fluid accumulation causes the fluid spaces (the ventricles) of the brain to enlarge causing pressure on the surrounding brain.


Reviewed by: Jack Wolfsdorf, MD, FAAP

This page was last updated on: 1/29/2019 3:21:13 PM

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