Hydrocephalusenparentshttps://kidshealth.org/EN/images/headers/P-hydrocephalus-enHD-AR1.gifOften called "water on the brain," hydrocephalus can cause babies' and young children's heads to swell to make room for excess cerebrospinal fluid. Learn how this condition is managed.hydrocephalus, water on the brain, brain swelling, swollen head, cerebral spinal fluid, csf,shunt procedures, shunting, endoscopic third ventriculectomy, sunsetting, bulging, soft spots, brain, brain injuries, swollen, enlarged head, hydro, hydrocefalus, ventricles, cisterns, pooling, fluid, fluid build-up, cranial hemorrhages, bleeding in the brain, brain bleed, head injuries, excess fluids, shunts, ventriculectomies, CD1Neurosurgery, CD1Perinatology10/24/200809/30/201909/30/2019Joseph H. Piatt Jr., MD09/12/20196c0b4c1e-72fe-47c3-bf49-65497a205961https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/hydrocephalus.html/<h3>What Is Hydrocephalus?</h3> <p>Hydrocephalus is a buildup of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) in the hollow places inside the <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/brain-nervous-system.html/">brain</a>. These hollow places are called ventricles. The buildup of CSF can put pressure on the brain.</p> <p>Treatments for hydrocephalus (hi-droh-SEF-eh-less) usually can lower the amount of CSF.</p> <h3>What Are the Signs &amp; Symptoms of Hydrocephalus?</h3> <p>Signs and symptoms of hydrocephalus in babies and children can include:</p> <ul> <li>fussiness</li> <li>tiredness</li> <li>poor appetite</li> <li>vomiting</li> <li>eyes that stay looking down</li> <li>slowed development</li> </ul> <p><strong>Babies younger than 1 year old</strong> still have their "soft spot" because their skull bones have not fully grown together yet. In them, hydrocephalus usually leads to bulging at the soft spot, increasing head size, and large scalp veins.</p> <p><img class="center_this" title="First diagram is no hydrocephalus and shows brain and ventricles with normal amount of CSF. Second diagram is hydrocephalus and shows brain, venticles, increased pressure in ventricles with extra CSF." src="https://kidshealth.org/EN/images/illustrations/hydrocephalus_a_enIL.jpg" alt="First diagram is no hydrocephalus and shows brain and ventricles with normal amount of CSF in the ventricles. Second diagram is hydrocephalus and shows brain, venticles, increased pressure in ventricles with extra CSF in the ventricles." /></p> <p><strong>Older children</strong> with hydrocephalus usually complain of <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/headache.html/">headache</a>.</p> <h3>Who Gets Hydrocephalus?</h3> <p>A child can:</p> <ul> <li>be born with hydrocephalus (called <strong>congenital hydrocephalus</strong>)</li> <li>get it later (called <strong>acquired hydrocephalus</strong>)</li> </ul> <p>Hydrocephalus can run in families.</p> <h3>How Does Hydrocephalus Happen?</h3> <p>Cerebrospinal fluid is saltwater that's made inside the ventricles. It flows around the brain and spinal cord, cushioning them. It also sends nutrients to the brain and takes away waste. Then it's absorbed into the bloodstream, and new, fresh CSF takes its place.</p> <p>Hydrocephalus can happen if:</p> <ul> <li>The flow of CSF is blocked (called <strong>obstructive hydrocephalus</strong>).</li> <li>Not enough CSF is absorbed into the bloodstream (called <strong>communicating hydrocephalus</strong>).</li> </ul> <h3>What Causes Hydrocephalus?</h3> <p>Causes of hydrocephalus include:</p> <ul> <li><a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/spina-bifida.html/">spina bifida</a>: when a baby's spinal cord does not fully develop</li> <li>aqueductal stenosis: when CSF flow between the ventricles inside the brain is blocked</li> <li>infection during pregnancy</li> <li>complications of prematurity (being <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/born-early.html/">born early</a>)</li> <li>bleeding in the brain (from a stroke or brain injury)</li> <li>a <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/brn-tumors.html/">brain tumor</a></li> <li>infection in the brain</li> </ul> <h3>How Is Hydrocephalus Diagnosed?</h3> <p>Doctors diagnose hydrocephalus by:</p> <ul> <li>asking about symptoms</li> <li>doing an exam</li> <li>doing imaging studies such as an <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/ultrasound-head.html/">ultrasound</a>, <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/ct-head.html/">CT scan</a>, or <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/mri-brain.html/">MRI</a></li> </ul> <h3>How Is Hydrocephalus Treated?</h3> <p>Treatment for hydrocephalus depends on the child's age and what's causing the hydrocephalus.</p> <p><img class="center_this" title="First diagram is before shunt with extra CSF in the ventricles. Second diagram is after shunt with less CSF in the ventricles and shows the shunt in the ventricles." src="https://kidshealth.org/EN/images/illustrations/hydrocephshnt-415x233-rd5-enIL.png" alt="First diagram is before shunt with extra CSF in the ventricles. Second diagram is after shunt with less CSF in the ventricles and shows the shunt in the ventricles." /></p> <p>Treatments may include one of these surgeries:</p> <ul class="kh_longline_list"> <li><strong><a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/vp-shunts.html/">Ventriculoperitoneal (VP) shunt surgery</a>:</strong> Doctors place a tube from the brain's ventricles to the peritoneal cavity, the space inside the belly where the stomach and the bowels sit. The tube is all inside the body under the skin. After it gets to the belly, the extra CSF is absorbed into the bloodstream. Shunts are replaced: <ul> <li>over time as a child grows and needs a bigger shunt</li> <li>if they get infected or stop working</li> </ul> </li> <li><strong>Endoscopic third ventriculostomy (ETV) surgery:</strong> A tiny hole made in the bottom of the ventricle lets the extra CSF drain out of the brain. Then, it's absorbed into the bloodstream.</li> </ul> <p>Kids also might need therapy for slowed development, such as:</p> <ul> <li>an early intervention program</li> <li><a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/phys-therapy.html/">physical therapy</a></li> <li><a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/occupational-therapy.html/">occupational therapy</a></li> </ul> <h3>How Can Parents Help?</h3> <p>Your child needs your care and support. Treatment for hydrocephalus is successful in many children. But most need more than one surgery and ongoing medical care.</p> <p>To help your child get the best treatment:</p> <ul class="kh_longline_list"> <li>Take your child to all doctor visits.</li> <li>Follow all medical recommendations, such as taking prescribed medicines.</li> <li>If needed, take your child to: <ul> <li>early intervention programs</li> <li>physical therapy</li> <li>occupational therapy</li> </ul> </li> </ul>HidrocefaliaLa hidrocefalia es un una acumulación de líquido cefalorraquídeo en los espacios que hay dentro del cerebro. Estos espacios se llaman "ventrículos". Esta acumulación de líquido cefalorraquídeo puede ejercer presión sobre el cerebro.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/es/parents/hydrocephalus-esp.html/a734192d-6cdc-4d6f-95e0-6802359ce1f0
Abusive Head Trauma (Shaken Baby Syndrome)Abusive head trauma is the leading cause of death in child abuse cases in the United States. It happens when someone shakes an infant.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/shaken.html/5605afef-657e-425a-9c05-a744f314f43b
Brain and Nervous SystemThe brain controls everything we do, and is often likened to the central computer within a vast, complicated communication network, working at lightning speed.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/brain-nervous-system.html/1e2a5004-5865-4069-97fd-5488c31075b9
Chiari I MalformationMany kids with this brain condition aren't bothered by it. Those who have symptoms can often find relief with medicines or surgery.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/chiari.html/b3eaa9b9-e26d-45d6-bcaa-d5aaa2da5e73
EncephalitisEncephalitis is a rare brain inflammation caused by a virus. The best way to avoid encephalitis is to prevent the illnesses that may lead to it.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/encephalitis.html/795b42b2-aa4c-40bc-98b2-f823dc931441
Head InjuriesHead injuries can be external or internal. Learn more about both kinds, how to prevent them, and what to do if your child is injured.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/head-injury.html/9369e328-77a9-4ffb-9782-4aed05a955d4
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a safe and painless test that uses a magnetic field and radio waves to produce detailed pictures of the body's organs and structures.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/mri.html/90abcf12-963c-4847-be8d-979b06ecdbca
Spina BifidaSpina bifida is a birth defect that involves the incomplete development of the spinal cord or its coverings. It's usually detected before a baby is born and treated right away.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/spina-bifida.html/a13499de-e5ce-40a1-a8bd-12bd447f75cf
Ultrasound: HeadDoctors order head ultrasounds when there's a concern about neurological problems in an infant.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/ultrasound-head.html/dad584a2-e05c-4f88-8978-fe1aeba3c2b9
VP ShuntsA VP shunt is a small plastic tube that helps drain extra cerebrospinal fluid from the brain. Most VP shunts are placed to treat hydrocephalus.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/vp-shunts.html/c7a5b22a-79b5-4071-b48f-bc409ea15350
kh:age-allAgesOrAgeAgnostickh:clinicalDesignation-neurosurgerykh:genre-articlekh:primaryClinicalDesignation-neurologyBrain & Nervous Systemhttps://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/medical/brain/d6b00a11-9db0-403c-bc41-00bcdf022537https://kidshealth.org/EN/images/illustrations/hydrocephalus_a_enIL.jpghttps://kidshealth.org/EN/images/illustrations/hydrocephshnt-415x233-rd5-enIL.png