What is pediatric hydrocephalus?

Hydrocephalus, the accumulation of "water on the brain" can occur with spinal fluid obstruction, narrowing of the spinal fluid circulation, a tumor or trauma. The child may become tired, sleepy, loose balance and have difficulty concentrating. Hydorcephalus can increase pressure on the brain. Complications include seizures, loss of consciousness, bowel and bladder incontinence. Early recognition and treatment of hydrocephalus is critical in complication prevention. A Vertricular- Peritoneal shunt may in inserted to remove excess fluid from the brain that will then drain into the abdomen.

Johns Hopkins Medicine
Pediatric hydrocephalus is the accumulation of spinal fluid inside your child's brain. It is also known as "water on the brain." This can be a very dangerous condition since the normal production and recycling of spinal fluid throughout your child's neurological system is disrupted. Some hydrocephalus conditions occur during pregnancy and others after birth. In addition, a small number can be transmitted genetically.
In order to understand hydrocephalus it is important to understand how cerebrospinal fluid, or CSF, normally flows. Inside the brain are the fluid-filled ventricles. CSF flows through the ventricles by way of channels that connect one ventricle to another. Eventually, the CSF is absorbed into the bloodstream. In order to maintain normal pressure inside the skull, the production, flow and absorption of CSF must be kept in balance.
Hydrocephalus occurs when this balance is not maintained. It is usually a sign that there is an underlying problem. Your child's pediatric neurologist and neurosurgeon will work to determine the cause of the hydrocephalus and treat the underlying cause. There is every reason to believe that your child can have successful treatment of hydrocephalus if the underlying cause can be properly treated.

Continue Learning about Hydrocephalus


Hydrocephalus is excess fluid in the brain, and is a condition in infants. A large head may be a symptom along with rapid increase in head size or vomiting. If caught early, placement of a shunt to reduce the fluid can result in c...

lose to normal life. If not caught, brief lifespan an severe developmental problems will result. Prevention includes fetal monitoring and growth monitoring

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