- What is Hydrocephalus?
- Statistics on Hydrocephalus
- Risk Factors for Hydrocephalus
- Progression of Hydrocephalus
- How is Hydrocephalus Diagnosed?
- Prognosis of Hydrocephalus
- How is Hydrocephalus Treated?
- Hydrocephalus References
What is Hydrocephalus?
Hydrocephalus can be defined as increased volume of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) within the brain. This may be due to:1) Too much CSF produced2) An obstruction of CSF flow 3) Problem with absorption of CSF The increased volume of CSF results in increased pressure within the brain (intracranial pressure) which may cause damage to the delicate brain tissue and resultant neurological effects such as drowsiness and seizures.
Statistics on Hydrocephalus
The incidence of congenital hydrocephalus is approximately 3 for every 1000 live births.The incidence of adult hydrocephalus depends on the frequency of precipitating causes, such as brain infections and so forth. Hydrocephalus is estimated to affect 1 in every 10,000 people at some point in their lifetime. The incidence in males and females is roughly equal. Peak incidence occurs in infancy and adulthood.
Risk Factors for Hydrocephalus
Progression of Hydrocephalus
Depending on the time frame involved, hydrocephalus may be acute, subacute or chronic in nature.Hydrocephalus can be classified according to the cause of the increased volume of CSF.
How is Hydrocephalus Diagnosed?
Prognosis of Hydrocephalus
The prognosis is dependent on the underlying cause. The outlook is particularly poor for untreated hydrocephalus in infants; these often result in infection and death. A small number will survive to childhood, but have some degree of intellectual handicap and developmental issues. The outlook is good for infants with treated non-tumour related hydrocephalus - 70% will maintain a normal IQ and attend normal school. Damage already sustained tends to be permanent - loss of cognitive function may pesist even after treatment as may visual loss.
How is Hydrocephalus Treated?
Medical therapy using various medications can be used to buy time until surgery however, surgery is the preferred treatment. The majority of patients with hydrocephalus end up having a shunt which will drain CSF into either the abdomen or the heart depending on the type of shunt used.
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|Modified: 7/2/2008||Created: 11/9/2003|
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