Hydrocephalus – Causes, Types | Pediatric Oncall


Last Updated : 8/1/2015
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Hydrocephalus is excessive accumulation of

cerebrospinal fluid



) within brain cavities (Ventricles).

CSF is produced in the ventricles and circulates through the brain and spinal cord before it is reabsorbed from the surface of the brain into the blood stream. When this pathway is blocked due to any reason, backpressure develops in the ventricles and results in hydrocephalus. CSF has many important functions viz. Nourishment, cushion like protection of the nervous tissue and to carry waste products away.

hydrocephalus in children

Congenital (present at birth)
Hydrocephalus is caused by a complex interaction of genetic and environment factors. Aqueductal stenosis (narrowing) is the most frequent cause. Blockage of fourth ventricle outlet (Dandy Walker Syndrome) or Chiari malformations (in association with Spina Bifida) are other common causes.

Acquired (development later in life)
Hydrocephalus can result from infection, bleeding (hemorrhage) head trauma, tumors and cysts. The most common cause in our country is meningitis (infection)

Contributor Information and Disclosures SANTOSH KARMARKAR
Consultant Pediatric Surgeon, Lilavati Hospital, Mumbai, India

First Created : 1/3/2001
Last Updated : 1/4/2011
Contributor Information and Disclosures

Last Updated : 8/1/2015
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