Quick Overview on Hydrocephalus?

  1. Could someone give me a quick and easy to understand overview of hydrocephalus? I Just started my ob/peds rotation this week and we've only had one day of lecture which we discussed growth and development. We only had lecture for 2 hours so we didn't get through much. And tomorrow I am going to a medical day care center. We got our reports on our patients today so we could research and everything before we went. My patient has a developmental delay, hydrocephalus, and seizuires. I tried to look up hydrocephalus in my book but its like another language! Can someone help me and give me a quick overview of hydrocephalus? I'd realllllly appreciate it! thanks in advance.
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    About luv2shopp85

    Joined: Dec '05; Posts: 609; Likes: 14


  3. by   prmenrs
    There are some parent-friendly web sites--just google hydrocephalus.
  4. by   EricJRN
    One of the problems with understanding hydrocephalus is that the pathophysiology, prognosis, and treatment will vary depending on what led the patient to be hydrocephalic. Whatever the cause, hydrocephalus means that you have excess accumulation of CSF in the head, which can cause increased intracranial pressure.

    Three classes of things can go wrong in the head to lead to hydrocephalus: abnormalities in absorption, abnormalities in flow, or abnormalities in formation. When you have impaired CSF flow (like in spina bifida), that's referred to as obstructive hydrocephalus. When there's no block in flow but there is a formation or absorption issue (like a brain bleed in a premie), that's communicating hydrocephalus. (Then sometimes there are elements of both communicating and obstructive.)

    Cerebral shunts (like a VP shunt) used to be one of the only definitive treatments, but now there's also a procedure called endoscopic third ventriculostomy (ETV) where a tiny hole is made in the third ventricle to allow escape of CSF. ETV is often the most successful in patients with obstructive hydrocephalus and in patients who already have shunts.

    Does that clear some of it up?
  5. by   luv2shopp85
    Yes that does help! thanks a bunch !!