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.

Newborns

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:

  • 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
Sep. 13, 2011

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