Pediatric Hydrocephalus

What is pediatric hydrocephalus?

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Hydrocephalus is the most common treatable cause of neurological disability encountered by pediatric neurosurgeons. Caused by an imbalance in the production and absorption of cerebrospinal fluid, hydrocephalus results in an increase in pressure that can affect the health and development of the entire brain. Hydrocephalus may result from a variety of causes, including

  • stenosis (narrowing) of the normal cerebrospinal fluid flow pathways
  • intracranial or intraventricular hemorrhage
  • infection
  • brain tumors

Why rely on Washington University experts to treat pediatric hydrocephalus?

Washington University/St. Louis Children’s Hospital is one of nine institutions of the Hydrocephalus Clinical Research Network, a collaborative effort to improve the care and outcomes of children with hydrocephalus.

Washington University pediatric neurosurgeons have extensive experience in treating hydrocephalus and offer the full range of hydrocephalus management options, from conventional cerebrospinal fluid shunts to the most advanced endoscopic techniques.

Treatment options

Hydrocephalus is commonly treated with a cerebrospinal fluid shunt (for example, VP shunt), but some patients may be candidates for an advanced endoscopic procedure called endoscopic third ventriculostomy (ETV) that can avoid implantation of a shunt.