What are acquired causes of hydrocephalus in infants and children?

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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Acquired causes in infants and children include the following:

  • Mass lesions: Mass lesions account for 20% of all cases of hydrocephalus in children. These are usually tumors (eg, medulloblastoma, astrocytoma), but cysts, abscesses, or hematoma also can be the cause. [12]

  • Hemorrhage: Intraventricular hemorrhage can be related to prematurity, head injury, or rupture of a vascular malformation.

  • Infections: Meningitis (especially bacterial) and, in some geographic areas, cysticercosis can cause hydrocephalus.

  • Increased venous sinus pressure: This can be related to achondroplasia, some craniostenoses, or venous thrombosis.

  • Iatrogenic: Hypervitaminosis A, by increasing secretion of CSF or by increasing permeability of the blood-brain barrier, can lead to hydrocephalus. As a caveat, hypervitaminosis A is a more common cause of idiopathic intracranial hypertension, a disorder with increased CSF pressure but small rather than large ventricles.

  • Idiopathic

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