Hydrocephalus of the brain in children

Among the pathologies in newborns, hydrocephalus is a considerable percentage. Varieties of this ailment are many, but the essence remains the same. She is in intensive development and a subsequent accumulation of cerebrospinal fluid, that is, the spinal fluid in the head. Causes and symptoms of this disease are described in detail below.

What is the hydrocephalus of the brain

Woman holding baby

Differently hydrocephalus called dropsy, because the term translated as «water in the brain». This disease is characterizes the condition of the body when special cavities called ventricles are filled with excessive amount of cerebrospinal fluid. It penetrates and under the meninges. Intracranial pressure this increased. The consequence is compression of the brain, poor blood flow. Because of these processes, the baby cannot develop normally, and his nervous system Matures more slowly.

Hydrocephalus of the brain in children has several classifications:

  1. Internal or external. At first the fluid collects under the brain lining, and in the second – inside the ventricles of the brain.
  2. Opened or closed. The first is called occlusive or nesoobschaemost. It is characterized by the blockade of the outflow of the cerebrospinal fluid to the site of absorption. Second compatible. If there is no blockade, cerebrospinal fluid, and there are violations in its absorption.
  3. Normotensive, hypotensive and hypertensive. Classification based on the degree of intracranial pressure.
  4. Congenital or acquired. Often the development of hydrocephalus of the brain in children marked in the womb, so the child is born with a pathology.
  5. Acute or chronic. This classification depends on how developed dropsy of the brain: quickly or gradually.
  6. Substitution (compensated) or decompensated. The first practically does not manifest any symptoms, and the second is accompanied by severe disorders.


Another name for this disease – hydrocephalic syndrome. The outer or external type of disease characterized by the accumulation of cerebrospinal fluid under the meninges. This type of disease is congenital, as it acts as a result of birth trauma. Treatment with drugs aimed at reducing the outflow of fluid and its stabilization. In the absence of positive dynamics is assigned to surgical intervention.


There is an internal dropsy of the brain in children. For this type is characterized by the accumulation of cerebrospinal fluid in the ventricles of the brain. Internal hydrocephalus can occur when further development of the baby, but can be congenital. The treatment is almost the same as in the external type of hydrocephalus. First apply the medication, and with no good result carried out the operation.


As the name suggests it is clear that this form of hydrocephalus, the fluid in the mind of a child accumulates in the ventricles of the brain and under his shell. This form of dropsy along with a moderate type, which for a long time can not show itself, is the most dangerous of all. The prognosis is often unfavorable, because violations are intense in nature. Manifest as convulsions, epileptic seizures and paralysis of the limbs.

What causes hydrocephalus in children

Doctor examines boy

In General the reasons for evolving hydrocephalus of the brain in children are classified into congenital or acquired. The advantages include:

  • disorders of brain development of the fetus;
  • transferred during pregnancy infection;
  • failure of the circulation of cerebrospinal fluid;
  • abuse of cigarettes, drugs or alcohol during pregnancy.

The severity of the disease depends on the time when there was previous infection. In small terms, this leads to termination of pregnancy, and the later – to the disruption of the formation of blood vessels and tissue which develops hydrocephalus. The risk factors of acquired forms of the disease include:

  1. Preemie. When is not over fetal development, the baby is born, begins to increase production of cerebrospinal fluid.
  2. Injury during childbirth or at a later time. Received a concussion, too, often becomes a cause of increased production of cerebrospinal fluid.
  3. Tumors of the brain. They put pressure on surrounding tissue, reducing the Strait, which disrupted the cerebrospinal and it accumulates.

How does hydrocephalus in infants

Mother soothes the baby

Symptoms of hydrocephalus depend on the age of the patient. In adults they are alone, and the children. It is also important that hydrocephalic syndrome in a child under one year and two manifests itself differently than children older than this age. The newborn has signs of hydrocephalus is:

  • very quickly increases the size of the head;
  • the forehead becomes thin;
  • the spring stiffens, swells and bulges;
  • the baby often throws her head back;
  • strabismus;
  • no attempts to crawl, to sit, to stand, to speak;
  • incontinence head;
  • cramps;
  • crying for no reason, and moodiness.

How does hydrocephalus in a child after two years

The girl has a headache

The older children hydrocephalus manifests itself differently. If the child is between 2 years, increasing the volume of its head is practically not observed. Schoolchildren and does not have this feature. Instead, the disease manifests itself with other symptoms:

  • sharp headaches, especially at night or in the morning;
  • nausea and vomiting;
  • vision problems;
  • cramps;
  • sleep disorders;
  • bleeding from the nose.
  • the decline of intellectual abilities;
  • severe fatigue;
  • drowsiness;
  • memory impairment;
  • precocious puberty;
  • the gap or growth;
  • obesity;
  • the lack of interest in mobile games;
  • loss of coordination;
  • incontinence.

As diagnosed and treated hydrocephalus in children

Measurement of head circumference

Newborns who have not yet grown together until the end of the bones of the skull, sent for ultrasound of the brain. Older children prescribe an MRI or a CT scan. If acquired hydrocephalus, then do the analysis of cerebrospinal fluid using puncturevine. The treatment of hydrocephalus is divided into medical and surgical. More effective is surgical. It is carried out 2 ways:

  1. Liquor bypass. Excessive cerebrospinal fluid is removed in the natural environment of the body by using the shunt available in the brain. In adults this method allows you to completely cure the disease, but children with the time change this important detail, because their head is constantly growing due to natural growth.
  2. Endoscopic surgery. Considered less dangerous. It represents the restoration of normal liquorette without the introduction of foreign bodies. For this reason, reduced risk of complications. The peculiarity is that this method can treat only the external dropsy, because there is no internal access of the endoscope to the desired brain area.

Video: children’s hydrocephalus brain

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