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(hī'drəsĕf`ələs), also known as water on the brain, developmental (congenital) or acquired condition in which there is an abnormal accumulation of body fluids within the skull. The congenital form may be associated with other abnormalities. The acquired form may follow meningitis or another cerebral inflammation or tumor. The accumulation of fluid causes compression of the brain and enlargement of the skull, sometimes with separation of bone structures. Paralysis and death may result or, at the least, mental retardation. Many forms of therapy, including surgery, have been attempted, but usually without much success in extreme cases.



edema of the brain, an excessive increase in the amount of cerebrospinal fluid in the cranial cavity.

The cause of hydrocephalus is either excessive production of cerebrospinal fluid in the brain or obstruction of its efflux from the ventricles of the brain, as a result of inflammatory processes, tumors, or other diseases leading to closing of the apertures through which the fluid escapes from the ventricles. Congenital hydrocephalus is caused by congenital syphilis and toxoplasmosis; acquired hydrocephalus originates (usually in early childhood) after meningitides, menin-goencephalitides, head traumas, intoxications, and other afflictions. The most common symptom of hydrocephalus in children is an enlarged skull. In places where the bones of the skull did not knit normally, rounded, pulsating protrusions may form. Frequently there is strabismus and nystagmus. Sometimes a reduction of vision and hearing, headaches, and nausea are observed. Intelligence is diminished. Treatment of hydrocephalus calls for the removal of the cause, sometimes by surgery. It can be prevented by the elimination of conditions injurious to the mother during pregnancy and the prevention of neuroinfections during childhood.


Arendt, A. A. Gidrotsefaliia i ee khirurgicheskoe lechenie. Moscow,1948.



, hydrocephaly
accumulation of cerebrospinal fluid within the ventricles of the brain because its normal outlet has been blocked by congenital malformation or disease. In infancy it usually results in great enlargement of the head
References in periodicals archive ?
While diagnoses of obstructive hydrocephalus or encephalitis/meningitis occurred in [approximately equal to] 20% of persons hospitalized for neurocysticercosis, these more severe presentations accounted for 40% of the total charges incurred.
For example, although a diagnostic code for headache was listed for 11% of hospitalized patients, only patients with headaches associated with underlying pathology requiring acute intervention, such as obstructive hydrocephalus, are likely to be admitted and therefore represented in this study.
Because of these findings, the neurologist was suspicious that the patient had obstructive hydrocephalus that may have been intermittently symptomatic from some sort of ball-valve effect.
1 cm colloid cyst at the anterior aspect of the third ventricle, at the foramen of Monro, resulting in marked obstructive hydrocephalus.
Our patient presented with symptoms related to obstructive hydrocephalus and underwent 2 separate MRIs.
Giant posterior communicating artery aneurysm presenting as third ventricle mass with obstructive hydrocephalus.
The clinical presentation of the case cited here was that of a metastatic cancer presenting as obstructive hydrocephalus due to carcinomatous meningitis of unknown primary.
Noncontrast computed tomography (CT) revealed a 1-cm mass near the posterior aspect of the third ventricle, which resulted in obstructive hydrocephalus.
Cranial computed tomography showed obstructive hydrocephalus, and a ventriculo-peritoneal shunt was placed.
Intracranial tuberculomas are managed medically unless there are signs of obstructive hydrocephalus or brain stem compression.

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