Frequent question: How can you tell if your baby has hydrocephalus?

The most obvious sign of hydrocephalus in infants is a rapid increase in head circumference or an unusually large head size. Other symptoms may include seizures, vomiting, sleepiness, irritability, or eyes that constantly gaze downward.

At what age is hydrocephalus diagnosed?

Hydrocephalus is typically detected through a prenatal ultrasound between 15 and 35 weeks gestation. Our specialists are able to confirm this diagnosis with a fetal magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) exam, which provides more detailed images of the brain.

How long do babies live with hydrocephalus?

Most of the newborns born with hydrocephalus will have a normal lifespan, and approximately 40 to 50 percent will have normal intelligence. Seizure disorders have been diagnosed in about 10 percent of children with hydrocephalus. The mortality rate for infants is approximately 5 percent.

Do babies with hydrocephalus cry?

Each child may experience symptoms differently, but the most common symptoms of hydrocephalus in infants include: A full or bulging fontanel (soft spot located on top of the head) A high-pitched cry.

What is the most common cause of hydrocephalus in infants?

The most common cause of acquired hydrocephalus in infants is hemorrhage, most often as a consequence of prematurity. Other important causes include neoplasm and infection, usually bacterial meningitis.

Can hydrocephalus be cured in infants?

There is no cure for hydrocephalus, but with timely diagnosis and treatment, children with hydrocephalus can lead normal lives. They will require close care from physicians, neurosurgeons and sometimes neurologists as well.

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Can a child outgrow hydrocephalus?

In most cases, the implantation of a shunt will successfully control hydrocephalus, but shunts do not cure hydrocephalus. Hydrocephalus is a lifelong condition. However, with proper treatment and maintenance, children with hydrocephalus can lead normal lives with few limitations.

How common is hydrocephalus in babies?

Hydrocephalus is not a disease but a condition and has several causes. Congenital (inborn) hydrocephalus occurs in one or two of every 1,000 babies born in the U.S. Hydrocephalus is the most common reason for brain surgery in children.

Does hydrocephalus cause mental retardation?

They have postulated that progressive hydrocephalus with a rising CSF pressure may result in failure of brain growth and mental retardation unless ventricular drainage is instituted prior to the time neural damage is irreversible.