Congenital hydrocephalus

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Caused by brain malformations or birth defects

The most common cause of congenital hydrocephalus is obstruction of the cerebral aqueduct — the long, narrow passageway between the third and fourth ventricle or cavity of the brain. This condition may result from a blockage, infection, hemorrhage, tumor or arachnoid cyst.

Other medical problems associated with congenital hydrocephalus may include:

  • Chiari malformations, an abnormality at the base of the brain where the spinal column joins the skull
  • Craniosynostosis, when the bones in the skull fuse together before the brain has stopped growing
  • Dandy-Walker syndrome, when the fourth ventricle is enlarged because of partial or complete closure of its outlets
  • Neural tube defects or spina bifida, when the spinal cord is exposed at birth and is often lacking cerebrospinal fluid
  • Vein of Galen malformations, abnormal connections between arteries and the deep draining veins of the brain that develop before birth