In many cases, the exact event leading to hydrocephalus is unknown. However, a number of developmental or medical problems can contribute to or trigger hydrocephalus.
Hydrocephalus present at birth (congenital) or shortly after birth may occur because of any of the following:
- Abnormal development of the central nervous system that can obstruct the flow of cerebral spinal fluid
- Bleeding within the ventricles, a possible complication of premature birth
- Infection in the uterus during a pregnancy, such as rubella or syphilis, that can cause inflammation in fetal brain tissues
Other contributing factors
Other factors that can contribute to hydrocephalus among any age group include:
Sep. 13, 2011
- Lesions or tumors of the brain or spinal cord
- Central nervous system infections, such as bacterial meningitis or mumps
- Bleeding in the brain from stroke or head injury
- Other traumatic injury to the brain
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- Life-threatening complications of hydrocephalus. Hydrocephalus Association. https://www.hydroassoc.org/hydrocephalus-education-and-support/learning-about-hydrcephalus/life-threatening-complications-of-hydrocephalus. Accessed June 11, 2011.
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- Meningococcal vaccine: Who and when to vaccinate. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/vpd-vac/mening/who-vaccinate.htm. Accessed June 28, 2011.
- Wetjen NM (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. July 6, 2011.
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