Estimated occurrence1:1,000 live births, of which 1/3 with meningomyelocele.
CauseA blockage in the cerebrospinal fluid system of the brain produces elevated pressure and enlarged ventricular cavities, which in turn cause the head to grow disproportionately large. Hydrocephalus in preterm births is most often caused by bleeding in the cavities of the brain. Hydrocephaus in fullterm births may be caused by events during pregnancy or in connection with delivery, after birth or occur for unknown reasons.
General symptomsHydrocephalus is usually treated with the surgical placement of a shunt (flexible tube) that diverts cerebrospinal fluid from the ventricles to the abdominal cavity or to the atrium of the heart. Hydrocephalus does not necessarily cause any functional impairment but may be associated with cerebral palsy, balance problems, delayed development, learning disabilities, epilepsy, or eye and vision problems. Autism spectrum disorders, e.g. ADHD, may also occur.
Orofacial/odontological symptomsOral motor function is affected in some children, resulting in speech impairment, eating difficulties and drooling. Weak muscles in the mouth and face may also impact on oral health and occlusal development.
Advice on follow-up and treatment
- Early contact with dental services for intensified prophylactic care and oral hygiene information is essential.
- Regular check-ups of dental and jaw development. Orthodontist should be consulted when needed.
- Training in oral motor skills in cases of eating difficulties, speech difficulties and drooling.
- Speech and language difficulties should be investigated and treated by a speechlanguage pathologist.
- When treating medically compromised patients always contact their doctor for medical advice.
Updated: 2019-11-12 14:49