Hydrocephalus. Risk factors

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    Hydrocephalus. Risk factors

    By Mayo Clinic Staff

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    In many cases, the exact event leading to hydrocephalus is unknown. However, a number of developmental or medical problems can contribute to or trigger hydrocephalus.


    Hydrocephalus present at birth (congenital) or shortly after birth may occur because of any of the following:

    • Abnormal development of the central nervous system that can obstruct the flow of cerebral spinal fluid
    • Bleeding within the ventricles, a possible complication of premature birth
    • Infection in the uterus during a pregnancy, such as rubella or syphilis, that can cause inflammation in fetal brain tissues

    Other contributing factors

    Other factors that can contribute to hydrocephalus among any age group include:

    • Lesions or tumors of the brain or spinal cord
    • Central nervous system infections, such as bacterial meningitis or mumps
    • Bleeding in the brain from stroke or head injury
    • Other traumatic injury to the brain


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