When do babies develop hydrocephalus?

A healthcare provider may first spot this condition in your baby during an ultrasound in pregnancy. In many cases, hydrocephalus doesn’t develop until the third trimester of the pregnancy. Ultrasounds done earlier in pregnancy may not show this condition. Your child may be diagnosed with this condition after birth.

How do you know if your baby has hydrocephalus?

The most obvious sign of hydrocephalus in infants is a rapid increase in head circumference or an unusually large head size. Other symptoms may include seizures, vomiting, sleepiness, irritability, or eyes that constantly gaze downward.

How early can hydrocephalus be detected?

Hydrocephalus is typically detected through a prenatal ultrasound between 15 and 35 weeks gestation.

How does a baby get hydrocephalus?

Causes of hydrocephalus include: spina bifida: when a baby’s spinal cord does not fully develop. aqueductal stenosis: when CSF flow between the ventricles inside the brain is blocked. infection during pregnancy.

Can a child develop hydrocephalus?

Hydrocephalus occurs when the body makes more cerebrospinal fluid than the brain absorbs. A child may be born with this, but it can happen to a person at any age. Older children or adults with an abnormal growth in the head (tumor) or a head injury can develop hydrocephalus.

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How long do babies with hydrocephalus live?

Most of the newborns born with hydrocephalus will have a normal lifespan, and approximately 40 to 50 percent will have normal intelligence. Seizure disorders have been diagnosed in about 10 percent of children with hydrocephalus. The mortality rate for infants is approximately 5 percent.

What is the most common cause of hydrocephalus in infants?

The most common cause of acquired hydrocephalus in infants is hemorrhage, most often as a consequence of prematurity. Other important causes include neoplasm and infection, usually bacterial meningitis.

Is hydrocephalus a disability?

You cannot get disability automatically for hydrocephalus because it is not a specifically listed condition in Social Security’s “blue book” of listed impairments.

Can babies with hydrocephalus lead normal lives?

What is the life expectancy of a child who has hydrocephalus? Children often have a full life span if hydrocephalus is caught early and treated. Infants who undergo surgical treatment to reduce the excess fluid in the brain and survive to age 1 will not have a shortened life expectancy due to hydrocephalus.

Can babies with hydrocephalus walk?

Many children with pediatric hydrocephalus have normal intelligence and physical development, but some may be slower to develop skills such as hand-eye coordination or learning to walk. Some may experience learning problems as they progress in school.

Is hydrocephalus a birth defect?

Congenital hydrocephalus is caused by a brain malformation or birth defect that causes excessive cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) to accumulate in brain cavities, called subarachnoid space.

How common is hydrocephalus in babies?

Hydrocephalus is not a disease but a condition and has several causes. Congenital (inborn) hydrocephalus occurs in one or two of every 1,000 babies born in the U.S. Hydrocephalus is the most common reason for brain surgery in children.

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