Which physical findings indicate hydrocephalus in infants?

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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Examination in infants may reveal the following findings:

  • Head enlargement (head circumference ≥98th percentile for age), especially crossing percentiles on the growth chart

  • Dysjunction/splaying of sutures

  • Dilated scalp veins

  • Tense/bulging fontanelle

  • Setting-sun sign: Characteristic of increased intracranial pressure (ICP); downward deviation of the ocular globes, retracted upper lids, visible white sclerae above irises

  • Increased limb tone (spasticity preferentially affecting the lower limbs)

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