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Hydrocephalus

Hydrocephalus is not a diagnosis but a descriptive term arising from one of many etiologies. It is the result (final, common pathway) of impaired circulation and reabsorption of cerebral spinal fluid (CSF). In rare instances, hydrocephalus is the result of increased production of CSF. Understanding the phenomenon of hydrocephalus requires an understanding of the brain structure and neuroanatomical features. The brain is housed inside the cranial vault, which, over time, becomes a fixed space. Before the plates composing the skull are fused, there is an opportunity for the head to expand and increase in size relative to excess CSF. A result of this phenomenon is bulging fontanelle; in this case, pressure causes a bulge in the space between the not-yet-fused plates in the skull. This ...

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