In some babies the condition is genetic, such as in babies with congenital aqueductal stenosis. Other conditions, such as neural tube defects (like spina bifida), are also associated with hydrocephalus. Other causes include premature birth, infections, tumors or bleeding inside the brain.
What is the most common cause of hydrocephalus in infants?
Hydrocephalus present at birth (congenital) or shortly after birth may occur because of any of the following: Abnormal development of the central nervous system that can obstruct the flow of cerebrospinal fluid. Bleeding within the ventricles, a possible complication of premature birth.
What is the main cause of hydrocephalus?
Hydrocephalus that develops in children and adults (acquired hydrocephalus) is usually the result of an injury or illness. Possible causes of acquired hydrocephalus include: bleeding inside the brain – for example, if blood leaks over the surface of the brain (subarachnoid haemorrhage)
How do I know if my baby has hydrocephalus?
Signs and symptoms of hydrocephalus in babies and children can include: fussiness. tiredness. poor appetite.
Do babies with hydrocephalus survive?
What is the life expectancy of a child who has hydrocephalus? Children often have a full life span if hydrocephalus is caught early and treated. Infants who undergo surgical treatment to reduce the excess fluid in the brain and survive to age 1 will not have a shortened life expectancy due to hydrocephalus.
Can hydrocephalus be cured in infants?
There is no cure for hydrocephalus, but with timely diagnosis and treatment, children with hydrocephalus can lead normal lives. They will require close care from physicians, neurosurgeons and sometimes neurologists as well.
How do you treat hydrocephalus in infants?
Surgery may be needed for some cases of hydrocephalus. Surgery usually involves placing a mechanical shunting device into the baby’s head to help drain the extra CSF from the brain and redirect the extra fluid to another part of the body to be absorbed. A common type of shunt is the ventriculoperitoneal shunt.
Can hydrocephalus be cured?
Hydrocephalus is a chronic condition. It can be controlled, but usually not cured. With appropriate early treatment, however, many people with hydrocephalus lead normal lives with few limitations.
What is the best treatment for hydrocephalus?
The most common treatment for hydrocephalus is the surgical insertion of a drainage system, called a shunt. It consists of a long, flexible tube with a valve that keeps fluid from the brain flowing in the right direction and at the proper rate.
What is the survival rate of hydrocephalus?
Survival in untreated hydrocephalus is poor. Approximately, 50% of the affected patients die before three years of age and approximately 80% die before reaching adulthood. Treatment markedly improves the outcome for hydrocephalus not associated with tumors, with 89% and 95% survival in two case studies.
Can a baby with hydrocephalus walk?
Many children with pediatric hydrocephalus have normal intelligence and physical development, but some may be slower to develop skills such as hand-eye coordination or learning to walk. Some may experience learning problems as they progress in school.
How common is hydrocephalus in babies?
Hydrocephalus mainly occurs in children and adults over 60, but younger adults can get it too. The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) estimates that 1 to 2 of every 1,000 babies are born with hydrocephalus.
Can a child outgrow hydrocephalus?
Though the majority of these babies will eventually need the traditional shunt when they grow older, many will never need another intervention. “Now,” Ahn says, “we can treat these babies so that they can outgrow their hydrocephalus and never need a shunt at all, which is a tremendous victory.”
Is hydrocephalus a birth defect?
Overview. Congenital hydrocephalus is caused by a brain malformation or birth defect that causes excessive cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) to accumulate in brain cavities, called subarachnoid space.