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:
Aug. 02, 2014
- 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
- Ellenbogen RG, et al. Principles of Neurological Surgery. 3rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier. 2012. http://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed May 18, 2014.
- Haridas A, et al. Hydrocephalus. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed May 18, 2014.
- Hydrocephalus fact sheet. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/hydrocephalus/detail_hydrocephalus.htm. Accessed May 18, 2014.
- Hydrocephalus. American Association of Neurological Surgeons. http://www.aans.org/Patient%20Information/Conditions%20and%20Treatments/Hydrocephalus.aspx . Accessed May 18, 2014.
- What can parents expect during their infant's well-child visits? National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. http://www.nichd.nih.gov/health/topics/infantcare/conditioninfo/Pages/well-child-visit.aspx. Accessed May 18, 2014.
- Ferri FF. Ferri's Clinical Advisor 2014: 5 Books in 1. Philadelphia, Pa.: Mosby Elsevier; 2014. https://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed May 18, 2014.
- 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 May 18, 2014.
- Adams Waldorf KM, et al. Influence of infection during pregnancy on fetal development. Reproduction. 2013;146:R151.
You Are ... The Campaign for Mayo Clinic
Mayo Clinic is a not-for-profit organization. Make a difference today.