Hydrocephalus Questions & Answers

Updated: Jun 04, 2018
  • Author: Stephen L Nelson, Jr, MD, PhD, FAACPDM, FAAN, FAAP; Chief Editor: Jasvinder Chawla, MD, MBA  more...
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Questions & Answers

Overview

What is hydrocephalus?

What are the signs and symptoms of hydrocephalus?

What are the signs and symptoms of normal pressure hydrocephalus (NPH)?

Which physical findings indicate hydrocephalus in infants?

Which physical findings indicate hydrocephalus in children and adults?

Which physical findings indicate normal pressure hydrocephalus (NPH)?

What is the role of lab testing in the diagnosis of hydrocephalus?

What is the role of imaging studies in the diagnosis of hydrocephalus?

What are the surgical options for treatment of hydrocephalus?

What is the role of medical therapy in the treatment of hydrocephalus?

How is hydrocephalus defined?

What is benign external hydrocephalus?

What is normal pressure hydrocephalus (NPH)?

What is communicating hydrocephalus?

What is noncommunicating hydrocephalus?

What is congenital hydrocephalus?

What is the production of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) in a healthy human?

What is the route of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) from production to clearance in a healthy human?

What is the role of intracranial pressure (ICP) in the pathophysiology of hydrocephalus?

What is the pathophysiology of normal pressure hydrocephalus (NPH)?

What is the incidence of hydrocephalus in the US?

What is the global incidence of hydrocephalus?

What causes death in untreated hydrocephalus?

What is the prevalence of shunt dependence in hydrocephalus?

How does the incidence of hydrocephalus vary by sex?

How does the incidence of hydrocephalus vary by age?

Presentation

Which factors influence the presentation of hydrocephalus?

What are symptoms of hydrocephalus in infants?

What are symptoms of hydrocephalus in children?

What are symptoms of hydrocephalus in adults?

What are symptoms of normal pressure hydrocephalus (NPH)?

What are physical findings of hydrocephalus in infants?

What are physical findings of hydrocephalus in children?

What are physical findings of hydrocephalus in adults?

What are physical findings of normal pressure hydrocephalus (NPH)?

What are congenital causes of hydrocephalus?

What are acquired causes of hydrocephalus in infants and children?

What are causes of hydrocephalus in adults?

What are causes of normal pressure hydrocephalus (NPH) in adults?

DDX

What are the differential diagnoses for Hydrocephalus?

Workup

What is the role of lab studies in the evaluation of hydrocephalus?

What is the role of CT scanning in the evaluation of hydrocephalus?

What is the role of MRI in the evaluation of hydrocephalus?

What are the CT/MRI criteria for diagnosis of acute hydrocephalus?

What are the CT/MRI criteria for diagnosis of chronic hydrocephalus?

Other than CT and MRI, which imaging studies may be helpful in the evaluation of hydrocephalus?

Which imaging study is used to confirm shunt positioning in hydrocephalus?

What is the role of EEG in the evaluation of hydrocephalus?

Which procedures are performed in the evaluation of hydrocephalus?

Which histologic findings are characteristic of hydrocephalus?

Treatment

What is the goal of medical care for hydrocephalus?

What is the mechanism of action for medications used in the treatment of hydrocephalus?

When are repeat lumbar punctures (LP) indicated in the management of hydrocephalus?

What are alternatives to shunting in the management of hydrocephalus?

What is the role of shunts in the treatment of hydrocephalus?

What are the treatment options for rapid-onset hydrocephalus?

Which specialist consultations should be sought in the management of hydrocephalus?

What activity restrictions are needed following shunting for hydrocephalus?

Medications

Which medications are used in the treatment of hydrocephalus?

Which medications in the drug class Loop diuretics are used in the treatment of Hydrocephalus?

Which medications in the drug class Carbonic anhydrase inhibitors are used in the treatment of Hydrocephalus?

Follow-up

What monitoring is required following treatment of hydrocephalus?

When is inpatient care indicated in the management of hydrocephalus?

Which medications are used in the treatment of hydrocephalus?

When is transfer to a specialized facility necessary in the treatment of hydrocephalus?

How is hydrocephalus prevented?

What are possible complications of hydrocephalus?

What is the prognosis of hydrocephalus?

What are the criteria for predicting improvement in normal pressure hydrocephalus (NPH) with shunting?

What information about hydrocephalus should patients receive?