Hydrocephalus

Posted by e-Medical PPT Monday, September 20, 2010
Hydrocephalus is a medical condition in which there is an abnormal accumulation of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) in the ventricles, or cavities, of the brain. This may cause increased intracranial pressure inside the skull and progressive enlargement of the head, convulsion, and mental disability.Hydrocephalus can be caused by impaired cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) flow, reabsorption, or excessive CSF production.The most common cause of hydrocephalus is CSF flow obstruction, hindering the free passage of cerebrospinal fluid through the ventricular system and subarachnoid space (e.g., stenosis of the cerebral aqueduct or obstruction of the interventricular foramina - foramina of Monro secondary to tumors, hemorrhages, infections or congenital malformations)
Hydrocephalus can also be caused by overproduction of cerebrospinal fluid (relative obstruction) (e.g., papilloma of choroid plexus).
Symptoms of increased intracranial pressure may include headaches, vomiting, nausea, papilledema, sleepiness, or coma. Elevated intracranial pressure may result in uncal and/or cerebellar tonsill herniation, with resulting life threatening brain stem compression.
In infants with hydrocephalus, CSF fluid builds up in the central nervous system, causing the fontanelle (soft spot) to bulge and the head to be larger than expected. Early symptoms may also include:
* Eyes that appear to gaze downward
* Irritability
* Seizures
* Separated sutures
* Sleepiness
* Vomiting
Hydrocephalus treatment is surgical. It involves the placement of a ventricular catheter into the cerebral ventricles to bypass the flow obstruction/malfunctioning arachnoidal granulations and drain the excess fluid into other body cavities, from where it can be resorbed. Most shunts drain the fluid into the peritoneal cavity (ventriculo-peritoneal shunt), but alternative sites include the right atrium (ventriculo-atrial shunt), pleural cavity (ventriculo-pleural shunt).
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1 Response to Hydrocephalus

  1. Anonymous Says:
  2. Nowhere is spina bifida mentioned?

     

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