(meningitis) scarring occludes them, or if the villi become obstructed with fragments of blood or infectious debris. Normal-pressure hydrocephalus seen in older adults, it isaccompanied by ventricular enlargement with compression of cerebral tissue but normalCSF pressure.Hydrocephalus occurs most commonly in neonates but also occur in adults asresult of injury or disease. It affects 1 of every 1000 people.
Mental retardation, impaired motor function, vision loss, death
Signs and Symptoms
In infants, the unmistakable sign of hydrocephalus is rapidly increasing headcircumference, clearly disproportionate to infant’s growth. Other characteristic changesinclude widening and bulging of the fontanels; distended scalp veins; thin, shiny, andfragile-looking scalp skin; and under developed neck muscles that can’t support thehead. In severe hydrocephalus, the roof of the orbit is depressed, the eyes are displaceddownward, and the scleras are prominent. Sclera seen above the iris is called the“setting-sun sign.” A high-pitched, shrill cry, abnormal muscle tone of the legs, irritability,anorexia, and projectile vomiting commonly occur. In adults and older children, indicatorsof hydrocephalus include decreased level of consciousness (LOC), ataxia, incontinence,loss of coordination, and impaired intellect.The clinical manifestations include papilledema, spasticity, and ataxia affectingthe extremities and a progressive decline in judgement and reasoning aith acharacteristic “empty chatter” type of speech pattern.
In infants, abnormally large head size for the patient’s age strongly suggestshydrocephalus. Measurement of head circumference is a most important diagnostictechnique. Skull x-rays show thinning of the skull with separation of sutures andwidening of fontanels.Other diagnostic tests for hydrocephalus, including arteriography, computedtomography scan, and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), can differentiate betweenhydrocephalus and intracranial lesions and can also demonstrate the Arnold-Chiarideformity, which may occur in an infant with hydrocephalus.