Hydrocephalus is a condition in which too much fluid builds up in the brain. The fluid is called cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). It is a clear liquid that normally surrounds both the spinal cord and the brain.
—a type of x-ray that uses a computer to make pictures of the inside of the brain
MRI scan—a test that uses magnetic waves to make pictures of the inside of the brain
Ultrasound—a test that uses sound waves to examine the brain
Treatment may include:
Shunt placement (ventriculoperitoneal shunt)—a shunt (a tube placed into the brain) allows excess CSF to drain into another area, usually the abdomen.
Sometimes a temporary extraventricular drain (EVD) is placed.
Third ventriculostomy—a hole is created in an area of the brain. It allows the CSF to flow out of the area where it is building up.
Removal of the obstruction of CSF flow. For example: removal of tumor or cyst
Lumbar puncture (spinal tap)—This involves the insertion of a needle between the back bones in the back to remove excess CSF.
Preliminary research suggests that some cases due to brain bleeding in the newborn period may be preventable. Cytomegalovirus or toxoplasmosis acquired by a mother during pregnancy may be a cause of hydrocephalus in a newborn baby. Mothers may reduce their risk of being infected with toxoplasmosis with these steps:
Carefully cook meat and vegetables.
Correctly clean contaminated knives and cutting surfaces.
Avoid handling cat litter, or wear gloves when cleaning the litter box.
Pet rodents (mice, rats, hamsters) often carry a virus called lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus (LCV). LCV infection acquired from pets during pregnancy can lead to hydrocephalus. This is preventable by avoiding rodent contact.
during or immediately after pregnancy may also lead to hydrocephalus in the baby. Both of these infections can be prevented with vaccination. Other preventable infections may also cause hydrocephalus. People who have risk factors for hydrocephalus should be carefully monitored. Immediate treatment might prevent long-term complications.
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care
provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a
substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER
IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the
advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to
starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a