How To Prevent Hydrocephalus In Pregnancy?

How To Prevent Hydrocephalus In Pregnancy
Prevention – A few of the causes of hydrocephalus can be prevented:

To help avoid severe head injury, wear appropriate protective gear when participating in contact sports or other activities, such as skiing, riding a bike and sledding, with a risk of head trauma. If you are pregnant, visit your doctor as soon as you know you are pregnant and frequently throughout the pregnancy. Your doctor will screen you for infections and other problems that may occur during pregnancy. Regular visits also will reduce the risk of premature birth. Women of child-bearing age should have folate regularly in their diet before becoming pregnant to help prevent the development of neural tube defects, some with hydrocephalus.

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What causes hydrocephalus during pregnancy?

There is no one specific cause of congenital hydrocephalus. However, it may be linked to a genetic defect, or be the result of another disorder such as spina bifida or encephalocele (sac-like protrusions of the brain).
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Does folic acid prevent hydrocephalus?

January 05, 2022 By: Cara Terreri | 0 Comments This week is Folic Acid Awareness Week, an annual informational event hosted and promoted by the International Federation for Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus (IF). Folic acid is a critical supplement required prior to and during pregnancy in order to prevent neural tube defects (NTD).

  1. The neural tube is the part of the embryo from which the brain and spinal cord are formed.
  2. Defects during this stage of growth, like spina bifida and hydrocephalus, develop during pregnancy and are present at birth (called “congenital”).
  3. While there are successful treatments for individuals with these congenital conditions, the best treatment is prevention.

Folic acid, an essential component required for the proper closing of the embryo’s neural tube 28 days after conception, can prevent most NTDs when taken as a supplement to a person’s diet before and after pregnancy. Folic acid also is found in many “fortified foods,” which are foods enriched with with micronutrients beneficial to human health and development.

During pregnancy, the body requires more micronutrients such as vitamin A, iron, iodine and folate. Deficiencies can impact both the parent and the baby. Although a healthy diet would normally provide you with folate, it is not sufficient alone to get the recommended folic acid intake to support and protect a pregnancy. Folic acid supplements or foods fortified with folic acid are essential. On average, 1 in 500 newborns are affected by neural tube defects (NTD). Most NTDs, such as spina bifida, are preventable thanks to folic acid and food fortification. Up to 90% of babies affected by spina bifida are also affected by hydrocephalus. By reducing the risk of NTDs we can also reduce the risk of associated hydrocephalus. While NTDs are multifaceted conditions that can occur for several reasons, since 1991, it has been scientifically established that folate insufficiency is a known risk factor for NTDs. The World Health Organization recommends taking a daily folic acid supplementation of 400mcg for at least 12 weeks before conception, and every day throughout pregnancy. A balanced and nutritious diet benefit to growth and development of the baby and decrease the risk of many birth defects. Fortification of foods with folic acid is a powerful and established food systems intervention with a proven track record of virtually eliminating the vitamin and mineral deficiencies that can cause NTDs. Research and evidence show that fortifying food with folic acid—the synthetic form of folate—is a successful intervention that improves folate levels for people of reproductive age before they get pregnant to a level that provides the maximum preventive protection against NTDs. Consuming a well-balanced diet rich in natural folates, eating fortified breads and cereals in addition to folic acid supplementation will help to reduce the risk of NTDs. Large-scale food fortification with nutrients like folic acid is key to achieving a healthier, more equitable food system. When even the poorest households have access to a baseline of essential vitamins and minerals, wellbeing improves and societies become more resilient in times of crisis.

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What are the chances of having a baby with hydrocephalus?

Hydrocephalus is a condition in which fluid accumulates in the brain, typically in young children, enlarging the head and sometimes causing brain damage. – How common is hydrocephalus? Hydrocephalus occurs in two out of every 1,000 births in the United States.

  • It is not known how many people develop it after birth.
  • Approximately 125,000 persons are living with cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) shunts, and 33,000 shunts are placed annually in the United States.
  • What causes hydrocephalus? Hydrocephalus can be present at birth or be acquired later in life as a result of a tumor, head injury, meningitis or hemorrhage.

Congenital hydrocephalus can occur in isolation or may be associated with other conditions such as spina bifida or Dandy Walker syndrome. Which children are most at risk for hydrocephalus? The most common causes of pediatric hydrocephalus in children in the United States are brain bleeds as a result of prematurity, spina bifida, brain tumors, infection and head injury.

Acquired hydrocephalus is caused by head injury or an obstruction in the brain, such as a tumor. What are the different types of hydrocephalus? There are two main types of hydrocephalus. Non-communicating hydrocephalus is where the blockage of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) is at the level of the fluid spaces of the brain.

Communicating hydrocephalus where the blockage of CSF is at the surface of the brain. Is hydrocephalus serious? Hydrocephalus can be very serious, and even fatal, if left untreated. Fifty percent of those who fail to have their hydrocephalus treated will die.

The other half survive with what is called arrested hydrocephalus. Those who are not treated and survive may have serious brain damage and physical disabilities. How does hydrocephalus affect children differently than adults? In small children and infants, hydrocephalus can affect the head by increasing its size to accommodate the excess fluid buildup.

Hydrocephalus may also slow growth in children as well have an impact on facial formation and eye spacing. What are possible complications of hydrocephalus? Hydrocephalus complications include headaches, hearing loss, muscle weakness, seizures an hormonal imbalances.

  1. Many of the complications, like nerve damage, seizure and impaired growth, arise from pressure placed on parts of the brain by the excess fluid.
  2. Other complications come from surgical treatments.
  3. Why does congenital hydrocephalus run in families? Congenital hydrocephalus can run in families.
  4. It is thought that congenital hydrocephalus can be caused by genetic defects that can be passed from one or both parents to a child, but the direct links to hereditary disorders are still being investigated.

However, experts have found a connection between a rare genetic disorder called L1 syndrome and hydrocephalus. L1 syndrome is the result of mutated gene. It can cause a condition known as aqueductal stenosis, which involves an obstruction of the flow of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), which is a fluid that is necessary for the normal functioning of the brain and spinal cord.

This obstruction of the CSF can cause hydrocephalus. Researchers estimate that L1 syndrome occurs in one in 25,000 to 60,000 males and rarely occurs in females. Is there a cure for hydrocephalus? Hydrocephalus has no cure, but there are treatments that allow those affected to lead fairly normal lives with the condition.

In some cases, it is possible for the blockage that is causing the fluid to build in the brain to be surgically removed. If the blockage is successfully removed, the child will require follow-up appointments to monitor his or her cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) levels and the possibility exists that they will need more surgeries later on in life.

What is the treatment for hydrocephalus? The most common treatment for hydrocephalus is the surgical placement of a shunt in the area of the brain with excess fluid. A shunt consists of flexible tubing that drains the fluid into another area of the body that can properly absorb it. A more modern treatment of hydrocephalus uses a small camera to make an internal connection in the brain to allow the fluid to be absorbed without the need to place a shunt.

This procedure is sometimes an excellent alternative treatment to a shunt. How common are shunt revisions? The typical child that receives a shunt requires about 2 to 5 operations over the course of their life to maintain it. There are however some children who will require only a single operation while other children may have numerous shunt revisions, sometimes several in one year.
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What is the most common cause of hydrocephalus in utero?

During prenatal development, the brain starts out as a tubular structure. As it grows, the inner tube remains and becomes a series of interconnected cavities known as ventricles. Within the ventricles, the choroids plexus produces cerebral spinal fluid (CSF) starting at the sixth week of gestation.

  1. By the neonatal period, approximately 300-500 cc of CSF is produced per day.
  2. CSF flows through a series of openings or foramens in the brain and out into the subarachnoid space where it is reabsorbed by the venous system.
  3. If the CSF pathways are obstructed or obliterated by developmental or acquired abnormalities, CSF accumulates under pressure within the ventricular system.

The ventricles begin to dilate, causing thinning and stretching of the cerebral mantle. This condition is called hydrocephalus. The brain can accommodate ventricular dilatation to a certain extent without significant neuronal damage. As the process continues, however, irreversible brain damage inevitably occurs. Ventricular shunting involves placement of a thin tube into the ventricles of the brain to drain fluid and relieve hydrocephalus. Hydrocephalus is one of the most common congenital anomalies affecting the nervous system, occurring with an incidence of 0.3 to 2.5 per 1,000 live births.

Traditionally, hydrocephalus is detected and treated after birth with a shunting procedure. However, with the advent of high quality prenatal ultrasonography, ventricular enlargement is now routinely diagnosed in utero. This knowledge has facilitated obstetric care but presents a source of uncertainty for families and a challenge for the team counseling parents regarding a prognosis for the fetus.

It is important to distinguish hydrocephalus from ventricular enlargement or ventriculomegaly, which can also be caused by brain destruction and morphological maldevelopment. The diagnostic distinction can be difficult to make, particularly with ultrasound alone, but is critical because fetal ventriculomegaly from a destructive or maldevelopment process carries a poor prognosis.

  1. In these cases, such as hydrancephaly and holoprosencephaly, the ventricles are not only relatively enlarged but also often distorted due to overlying parenchymal abnormalities.
  2. Fetal ventriculomegaly is frequently associated with other severe developmental abnormalities, and this combination presents a uniformly dismal outcome.

True fetal hydrocephalus has a variety of causes. The most common form of isolated, obstructive hydrocephalus is so-called “aqueductal stenosis,” which is the blockage of CSF passage through the aqueduct of Sylvius. It accounts for up to 20 percent of cases of fetal hydrocephalus.

Blockage at the aqueduct is assumed when the lateral and third ventricles are enlarged proximal to the obstruction, and the fourth ventricle is relatively small. Fetal hydrocephalus is also commonly associated with congenital malformation syndromes. The Chiari II malformation accounts for approximately 30 percent of fetuses identified with ventriculomegaly.

This malformation is characterized by myelomeningocele and posterior fossa abnormalities, which have distinct sonographic appearances (the so-called “lemon” and “banana” signs). Affected children will have a variable level of paralysis of the legs and perhaps brain stem malfunction as well.

  • The Dandy-Walker malformation accounts for two to 10 percent of children with hydrocephalus.
  • It is defined by hypoplasia of the cerebellar vermis, cystic dilatation of fourth ventricle and hydrocephalus.
  • In its most severe form, the syndrome is often associated with other CNS, cardiac, genitourinary, ocular and facial anomalies and is often accompanied by intellectual disabilities.

Hydrocephalus can have a genetic basis. Classic X-linked recessive hydrocephalus (Bickers-Adam syndrome) accounts for approximately 7 percent of male hydrocephalus. The condition is characterized by aqueductal stenosis, severe intellectual disabilities and in half of the affected children, an adduction thumb deformity.

  • Hydrocephalus may also be present in a number of major and minor chromosomal aberrations affecting chromosome 8, 9, 13, 15, 18 or 21.
  • Traditionally, fetal hydrocephalus has been detected prenatally using sonographic measurements of the enlarged ventricles.
  • The most useful measurement is the transverse atrial width, which is normally between 4-8 mm with a normal upper limit of 10 mm.

The utility of the measurement is based on the fact that the atria are easily identified, and the measurement is nearly constant between 15 to 35 weeks of gestation. The finding of fetal ventriculomegaly requires a prompt, thorough evaluation that begins with a concerted effort to rule out additional anomalies. 20-week fetal ultrafast MRI showing marked lateral ventricular dilation. © CHOP/CFDT The family history is reviewed for X-linked hydrocephalus and neural tube malformations. A complete ultrasound examination is carried out to search for additional abnormalities.

But ultrasound evaluations alone can miss important anomalies, which will affect the outcome. Ultrafast fetal MRI is a more anatomically precise modality for prenatal neuroimaging. There is no apparent risk to the mother or fetus from the radiofrequency pulses or the magnetic field. Therefore, an MRI scan is obtained and interpreted by an experienced pediatric neuroradiologist to rule out any additional CNS anomalies.

Amniocentesis is performed for viral cultures, chromosomal analysis and alpha-fetoprotein levels. Hydrocephalus treatments depend on the type of fetal hydrocephalus. A thorough understanding of the natural history of fetal hydrocephalus should form the basis for rational treatment and parental counseling.

Unfortunately, understanding of the natural history is presently insufficient to definitively provide an exact prognosis or offer fetal therapy. It is clear that fetal ventriculomegaly with associated abnormalities have a poor outcome. In cases of ventriculomegaly associated with infections, chromosomal abnormalities, and severe CNS and extracranial abnormalities, a poor prognosis may lead a family to end the pregnancy.

The outcome of isolated fetal hydrocephalus, however, is variable. It is related to etiology or cause and in all cases, outcomes appear to be less favorable when compared to neonatal counterparts:
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Can lack of folic acid cause hydrocephalus?

Abstract – Folate is vital in a range of biological processes and folate deficiency is associated with neurodevelopmental disorders such as neural tube defects and hydrocephalus (HC).10-formyl-tetrahydrofolate-dehydrogenase (FDH) is a key regulator for folate availability and metabolic interconversion for the supply of 1-carbon groups.

  • In previous studies, we found a deficiency of FDH in CSF associated with the developmental deficit in congenital and neonatal HC.
  • In this study, we therefore aimed to investigate the role of FDH in folate transport and metabolism during the brain development of the congenital hydrocephalic Texas (H-Tx) rat and normal (Sprague-Dawley) rats.

We show that at embryonic (E) stage E18 and E20, FDH-positive cells and/or vesicles derived from the cortex can bind methyl-folate similarly to folate receptor alpha, the main folate transporter. Hydrocephalic rats expressed diminished nuclear FDH in both liver and brain at all postnatal (P) ages tested (P5, P15, and P20) together with a parallel increase in hepatic nuclear methyl-folate at P5 and cerebral methylfolate at P15 and P20.

A similar relationship was found between FDH and 5-methyl cytosine, the main marker for DNA methylation. The data indicated that FDH binds and transports methylfolate in the brain and that decreased liver and brain nuclear expression of FDH is linked with decreased DNA methylation which could be a key factor in the developmental deficits associated with congenital and neonatal HC.

Folate deficiency is associated with neurodevelopmental disorders such as neural tube defects and hydrocephalus.10-formyl-tetrahydrofolate-dehydrogenase (FDH) is a key regulator for folate availability and metabolic interconversion. We show that FDH binds and transports methylfolate in the brain.
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Is hydrocephalus seen on ultrasound?

How is Hydrocephalus Diagnosed in Pregnancy? – Hydrocephalus can be detected using a normal ultrasound examination, which is typically performed throughout a woman’s pregnancy. During ultrasound screening, the technician may see pockets of fluid in the developing brain, indicating enlarged ventricles and the possible presence of hydrocephalus.

  • Hydrocephalus can be detected as early as the latter part of the first trimester.
  • Diagnosis has been made as early as 13 weeks.
  • Around 20 to 24 weeks, abnormal dilation of the ventricles are more clearly detectable.
  • In certain special cases, fetal magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) may be done, especially when abnormal anatomy is observed with ultrasonography.

The MRI provides more detailed images of the brain. For more detailed information on Hydrocephalus, visit About Hydrocephalus,
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Which vitamin deficiency causes hydrocephalus?

Vitamin K deficiency in hyperemesis gravidarum as a potential cause of fetal intracranial hemorrhage and hydrocephalus.
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What drugs can cause hydrocephalus?

Sir, I read with interest the article by Mills et al. describing opioid poisoning as a cause of severe cerebellitis in a child. We have observed a similar presentation in at least four individual patients suffering profound heroin addiction. These patients, albeit not children, but all around 18–20 years of age, presented with a sudden decrease in level of consciousness following episodes of heavy intravenous or inhalational heroin abuse.

Brain CT showed an invariable pattern of acute obstructive hydrocephalus in addition to generalized cerebellar oedema with resultant effacement of the cisterns and fourth ventricle. Unfortunately, brain MRI could not be performed in any of the patients because of their poor and rapidly deteriorating condition.

Despite emergent medical therapy and external ventricular drainage, all of them died within 2 days. Cerebrospinal fluid studies were normal, and the presenting clinical condition could not be attributed to anything other than drug abuse. This presentation is now becoming a nearly constant feature for intravenous drug abusers presenting with a sudden decreased level of consciousness, although in many of them except the above four, other causes of coma have been ruled in,

  • A few theories may explain this picture in such patients.
  • Following opioid intoxication, respiratory compromise ensues, causing anoxic encephalopathy and diffuse oedematous swelling of the brain.
  • A form of toxic leukoencephalopathy causing cerebellar oedema and hydrocephalus has also been described resulting from inhalation of heroin, and also from methadone poisoning,
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In a case report by Derlon et al., traumatic compression and occlusion of the left vertebral artery at the level of C2 during an alcoholic coma caused oedematous cerebellar infarction and hydrocephalus. In a further case report of central nervous system mucormycosis, Woods and Hanna suggested that drug abuse should be included in the differential diagnosis in a patient presenting with a rapid deterioration in neurological status due to acute hydrocephalus.
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What is the main cause of hydrocephalus?

Causes – Hydrocephalus is caused by an imbalance between how much cerebrospinal fluid is produced and how much is absorbed into the bloodstream. Cerebrospinal fluid is produced by tissues lining the ventricles of the brain. It flows through the ventricles by way of interconnecting channels.

Keeping the brain buoyant, allowing the relatively heavy brain to float within the skull Cushioning the brain to prevent injury Removing waste products of the brain’s metabolism Flowing back and forth between the brain cavity and spinal column to maintain a constant pressure within the brain — compensating for changes in blood pressure in the brain

Too much cerebrospinal fluid in the ventricles occurs for one of the following reasons:

Obstruction. The most common problem is a partial blockage of the flow of cerebrospinal fluid, either from one ventricle to another or from the ventricles to other spaces around the brain. Poor absorption. Less common is a problem with absorbing cerebrospinal fluid. This is often related to inflammation of brain tissues from disease or injury. Overproduction. Rarely, cerebrospinal fluid is created more quickly than it can be absorbed.

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What are the three causes of hydrocephalus?

What causes hydrocephalus? – Hydrocephalus may be present at birth (congenital) or may develop over time as a result of injury or disease (acquired). Except for hydrocephalus secondary to physical obstruction of CSF passages within the brain or skull by blood or tumor, the exact causes of hydrocephalus are still not well understood.

inherited genetic abnormalities that block the flow of CSF developmental disorders such as those associated with birth defects in the brain, spine, or spinal cord complications of premature birth such as bleeding within the ventricles infection during pregnancy such as rubella that can cause inflammation in the fetal brain tissue.

Acquired hydrocephalus Certain factors can increase the risk of developing hydrocephalus at any age, including:

brain or spinal cord tumors infections of the central nervous system such as bacterial meningitis injury or stroke that causes bleeding in the brain.

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Who is at risk for hydrocephalus?

Hydrocephalus is a condition in which excess cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) builds up within the fluid-containing cavities or ventricles of the brain. The term hydrocephalus is derived from the Greek words “hydro” meaning water and “cephalus” meaning the head.

  • Although it translates as “water on the brain,” the word actually refers to the buildup of cerebrospinal fluid, a clear organic liquid that surrounds the brain and spinal cord.
  • CSF is in constant circulation within the ventricles of the brain and serves many crucial functions: 1) it acts as a “shock absorber” for the brain and spinal cord; 2) it acts as a vehicle for delivering nutrients to the brain and removing waste from it; and 3) it flows between the cranium and spine to regulate changes in pressure.

When CSF builds up around the brain, it can create harmful pressures on the tissues of the brain confined within the skull. The accumulation of CSF occurs due to either an increase in production of the fluid, a decrease in its rate of absorption or from a condition that blocks its normal flow through the ventricular system.

Hydrocephalus can occur at any age, but is most common in infants and adults age 60 and older. According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), hydrocephalus is believed to affect approximately one to two in every 1,000 children born in the U.S. The majority of these cases are often diagnosed before birth, at the time of delivery or in early childhood.

Little is understood about the causes of hydrocephalus. Some cases of hydrocephalus are present at birth, while others develop in childhood or adulthood. Hydrocephalus can be inherited genetically, may be associated with developmental disorders, like spina bifida or encephalocele, or occur as a result of brain tumors, head injuries, hemorrhage or diseases such as meningitis.

Based on onset, presence of structural defects or high vs. normal CSF pressures, hydrocephalus can be divided into categories. Acquired Hydrocephalus: This is the type of hydrocephalus that develops at birth or in adulthood and is typically caused by injury or disease. Congenital Hydrocephalus: It is present at birth and may be caused by events that occur during fetal development or as a result of genetic abnormalities.

Communicating Hydrocephalus: This type of hydrocephalus occurs when there is no obstruction to the flow of CSF within the ventricular system. The condition arises either due to inadequate absorption or due to an abnormal increase in the quantity of CSF produced.

  • Non-communication (Obstructive) Hydrocephalus: It occurs when the flow of CSF is blocked along one of more of the passages connecting the ventricles, causing enlargement of the pathways upstream of the block and leading to an increase in pressure within the skull.
  • Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus: It is a form of communicating hydrocephalus that can occur at any age, but is most common in the elderly.

It is characterized by dilated ventricles with normal pressure within the spinal column. Hydrocephalus Ex-vacuo: It primarily affects adults and occurs when a degenerative disease, like Alzheimer’s disease, stroke or trauma, causes damage to the brain that may cause the brain tissue to shrink.

Unusually large head size Rapidly increasing head circumference Bulging and tense fontanelle or soft spot Prominent scalp veins Downward deviation of eyes or sunset sign Vomiting Sleepiness Irritability Seizures

Children and Adolescents

Nausea and vomiting Swelling of the optic disc or papilledema Blurred or double vision Balance and gait abnormalities Slowing or loss of developmental progress Changes in personality Inability to concentrate Seizures Poor appetite Urinary incontinence


Headache Nausea and vomiting Difficulty walking or gait disturbances Loss of balance or coordination Lethargy Bladder incontinence Impaired vision Impaired cognitive skills Memory loss Mild dementia

Once a physician suspects hydrocephalus, he/she performs a thorough clinical evaluation, including reviewing and recording a detailed patient history and performing a physical exam to assess the condition. A complete neurological examination, including one of more of the following tests, is usually recommended to confirm the diagnosis and assess for treatment options:

Computed tomography scan (CT or CAT scan) Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) Lumbar puncture (spinal tap) Intracranial pressure monitoring Isotope cisternography

The tests may reveal useful information about the severity of the condition and its likely cause. Once hydrocephalus is suspected, it is important that a neurosurgeon and/or neurologist become part of the medical team for their expertise on interpreting test results and treating the condition.

Hydrocephalus can be treated in a variety of ways. Based on the underlying etiology, the condition may be treated directly by removing the cause of CSF obstruction or indirectly by diverting the excess fluid. Hydrocephalus is most commonly treated indirectly by implanting a device known as a “shunt” to divert the excess CSF away from the brain.

The shunt is a flexible tube which, along with a catheter and a valve, is placed under the skin to drain excess CSF from a ventricle inside the brain to another body cavity such as the peritoneal cavity (the area surrounding the abdominal organs). Once inserted, the shunt system usually remains in place for the duration of a patient’s life (although additional operations to revise the shunt system are sometimes needed).

  • The shunt system continuously performs its function of diverting the CSF away from the brain, thereby keeping the intracranial pressure within normal limits.
  • In some cases, two procedures are performed, the first to divert the CSF and another at a later stage to remove the cause of obstruction (e.g.
  • A brain tumor).

A limited number of patients can be treated with an alternative operation called endoscopic third ventriculostomy. In this procedure, a surgeon utilizes a tiny camera (endoscope) with fiber optics to visualize the ventricles and create a new pathway through which CSF can flow.

  • Neurological function will be evaluated after surgery.
  • If any neurological problems persist, rehabilitation may be required to further improvement.
  • However, recovery may be limited by the extent of the damage already caused by the hydrocephalus and by the brain’s ability to heal.
  • Because hydrocephalus is an ongoing condition, long-term follow-up by a doctor is required.

Follow-up diagnostic tests, including CT scans, MRIs and x-rays, are help determine if the shunt is working properly. A physician should be contacted if any of the following postoperative symptoms are experienced:

Redness, tenderness, pain or swelling of the skin along the length of the tube or incision Irritability or drowsiness Nausea, vomiting, headache or double vision Fever Abdominal pain Return of preoperative neurological symptoms

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The prognosis for hydrocephalus depends on the cause, the extent of symptoms and the timeliness of diagnosis and treatment. Some patients show a dramatic improvement with treatment, while others do not. In some instances of normal pressure hydrocephalus, dementia can be reversed by shunt placement.

  1. Other symptoms, such as headaches, may disappear almost immediately if the symptoms are related to elevated pressure.
  2. In general, the earlier hydrocephalus is diagnosed, the better the chance for successful treatment.
  3. The longer the symptoms have been present, the less likely it is that treatment will be successful.

Unfortunately, there is no way to accurately predict how successful surgery will be for each individual. Some patients will improve dramatically, while others will reach a plateau or decline after a few months. Shunt malfunction or failure may occur. The valve can become clogged or the pressure in the shunt may not match the needs of the patient, requiring additional surgery.

  1. In the event of an infection, antibiotic therapy may be needed and likely temporary removal of the shunt and replacement by a drain until the infection clears.
  2. The shunt can then be re-implanted.
  3. A shunt malfunction may be indicated by headaches, vision problems, irritability, fatigue, personality change, loss of coordination, difficulty in waking up or staying awake, a return of walking difficulties, mild dementia or incontinence.

In infants, the symptoms of shunt malfunction can include the above as well as vomiting, inappropriate head growth and/or sunsetting eyes. When a shunt malfunctions, surgery is often needed to replace the blocked or malfunctioning portion of the shunt system.

  • Fortunately, most complications can be dealt with successfully.
  • Patient Pages are authored by neurosurgical professionals, with the goal of providing useful information to the public.
  • Lawrence M.
  • Shuer, MD, FAANS Rut Thakkar The AANS does not endorse any treatments, procedures, products or physicians referenced in these patient fact sheets.

This information is provided as an educational service and is not intended to serve as medical advice. Anyone seeking specific neurosurgical advice or assistance should consult his or her neurosurgeon, or locate one in your area through the AANS’ Find a Board-certified Neurosurgeon” online tool.
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Can a mother cause hydrocephalus?

Hydrocephalus present from birth – Congenital hydrocephalus is when a baby is born with excess fluid in their brain. It can be caused by a condition such as spina bifida, or an infection the mother develops during pregnancy, such as mumps or rubella (German measles).

learning disabilities speech problemsmemory problemsshort attention spanproblems with organisational skillsvision problems, such as a squint and vision loss problems with physical coordination epilepsy

If your child has learning disabilities, they’ll need extra support from their nursery or school to ensure their needs are being met.
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Can hydrocephalus be missed on ultrasound?

How is hydrocephalus diagnosed? – Hydrocephalus may be diagnosed before birth by prenatal ultrasound, a diagnostic imaging technique which uses high-frequency sound waves and a computer to create images of blood vessels, tissues, and organs. Ultrasounds are used to view internal organs as they function, and to assess blood flow through various vessels.

  • In many cases, hydrocephalus doesn’t develop until the third trimester of the pregnancy and, therefore, may not be seen on ultrasounds performed earlier in pregnancy.
  • The diagnosis of congenital hydrocephalus may be made at birth and after diagnostic testing.
  • During the examination, the doctor obtains a complete prenatal and birth history of the baby.

He or she may also ask if there’s a family history of hydrocephalus or other medical problems. The doctor will also ask about developmental milestones in older babies since hydrocephalus can be associated with developmental delay. Developmental delays may require further medical follow-up for underlying problems.

  • Ultrasound. This diagnostic procedure uses sound waves to create an image of an internal portion of the body and can be used to determine the size of the ventricles in the womb and in neonates.
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). This diagnostic procedure uses a combination of large magnets, radio frequencies, and a computer to produce detailed images of organs and structures within the body.
  • Computed tomography (CT) scan. This diagnostic imaging procedure uses a combination of X-rays and computer technology to produce horizontal, or axial, images (often called slices) of the body. A CT scan shows detailed images of any part of the body, including the bones, muscles, fat, and organs. CT scans are more detailed than general X-rays.

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How long does hydrocephalus take to develop?

Normal pressure hydrocephalus (NPH) – The symptoms of normal pressure hydrocephalus (NPH) tend to affect older people and usually develop slowly, over many months or years. NPH has 3 sets of distinctive symptoms. It affects:

how you walk (mobility)the urinary systemmental abilities

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Can fetal hydrocephalus go away?

How To Prevent Hydrocephalus In Pregnancy Hydrocephalus is a serious condition usually occurring in utero or infancy which can have a life-long impact on a child. Hydrocephalus can be easily diagnosed in utero or shortly after birth. If it is caught early and treated, its harmful effects can be mitigated.
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What happens if you don’t have enough folate during pregnancy?

What are the complications of folate-deficiency anemia? – Folate-deficiency anemia during pregnancy may cause a neural tube defect. This is when the brain or spinal cord doesn’t develop normally. It can cause death before or soon after birth. Or it may cause paralysis of the legs.
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Does folic acid help with baby brain development?

Why folic acid is important before and during pregnancy – When the baby is developing early during pregnancy, folic acid helps form the neural tube. Folic acid is very important because it can help prevent some major birth defects of the baby’s brain ( anencephaly ) and spine ( spina bifida ). The neural tube forms the early brain and spine.
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Can a blood test detect hydrocephalus?

Laboratory Studies – No specific blood tests are recommended in the workup for hydrocephalus. Genetic testing and counseling might be recommended when X-linked hydrocephalus is suspected. Evaluate cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) in posthemorrhagic and postmeningitic hydrocephalus for protein concentration and to exclude residual infection.
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What month does the brain develop during pregnancy?

Pregnancy is an exciting time full of rapid change and development for both you and your baby. While the growth happening on the outside is clear to everyone (hello, growing belly!), it’s the development we can’t see that is truly fascinating. Your fetus will begin the process of developing a brain around week 5, but it isn’t until week 6 or 7 when the neural tube closes and the brain separates into three parts, that the real fun begins.
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What age does hydrocephalus start?

How is hydrocephalus diagnosed? – When a baby is born with hydrocephalus, it doesn’t usually develop until the third trimester of the mother’s pregnancy. Fetal ultrasound is used to diagnose hydrocephalus when a baby is still in the womb. In infants and older children, hydrocephalus is diagnosed with one or more of the following tests:

ultrasound computed tomography (CT) magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) intracranial pressure monitoring: this test measures the pressure in a child’s skull.

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Can a mother cause hydrocephalus?

Hydrocephalus present from birth – Congenital hydrocephalus is when a baby is born with excess fluid in their brain. It can be caused by a condition such as spina bifida, or an infection the mother develops during pregnancy, such as mumps or rubella (German measles).

learning disabilities speech problemsmemory problemsshort attention spanproblems with organisational skillsvision problems, such as a squint and vision loss problems with physical coordination epilepsy

If your child has learning disabilities, they’ll need extra support from their nursery or school to ensure their needs are being met.
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What are the three causes of hydrocephalus?

What causes hydrocephalus? – Hydrocephalus may be present at birth (congenital) or may develop over time as a result of injury or disease (acquired). Except for hydrocephalus secondary to physical obstruction of CSF passages within the brain or skull by blood or tumor, the exact causes of hydrocephalus are still not well understood.

inherited genetic abnormalities that block the flow of CSF developmental disorders such as those associated with birth defects in the brain, spine, or spinal cord complications of premature birth such as bleeding within the ventricles infection during pregnancy such as rubella that can cause inflammation in the fetal brain tissue.

Acquired hydrocephalus Certain factors can increase the risk of developing hydrocephalus at any age, including:

brain or spinal cord tumors infections of the central nervous system such as bacterial meningitis injury or stroke that causes bleeding in the brain.

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Who is at risk for hydrocephalus?

Who can get hydrocephalus? – One to 2 of every 1,000 babies in the United States are born with hydrocephalus. But hydrocephalus also affects older children and adults of all ages.
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Is hydrocephalus a genetic or birth defect?

It is believed that most hydrocephalus occurs due to a combination of environmental and genetic factors. Environmental factors may include infections or bleeding at or before birth. The chance for parents of one child with hydrocephalus to have another child with hydrocephalus is increased.
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