External hydrocephalus of the brain in adults: treatment

External hydrocephalus of the brain consistently is considered a «pediatric» disease, as it is almost always congenital. If to speak about the progress of the disease in adults, there is still no clear criteria on which to identify and treat hydrocephalus. Despite this, every fourth patient of neurosurgery over the age of 18 is suffering from «dropsy».

Most often external hydrocephalus arises due to these or other neurological pathologies of the sphere (e.g., stroke, tumors, meningitis, etc.). Because of this, the patient’s discharge, the disease is described as a consequence of these primary diseases that is not entirely true.


Most often hydrocephalus occurs as a complication of certain pathologies of the brain, and to address the root cause of almost any violation of the Central nervous system. The disease most often occurs after a stroke, cancer of the brain, encephalopathy, infectious or inflammatory lesions and head injuries.

Along with that external hydrocephalus may be an independent pathology. It is accompanied by the accumulation of CSF (cerebrospinal fluid) in those or other cerebrospinal fluid spaces of the brain. Depending on the reasons distinguish several main subtypes of external hydrocephalus:

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  • Substitution variety is occurs due to problems with the Central nervous system, most often after a hemorrhage in the brain, Alzheimer’s disease or injuries.
  • Moderate hydrocephalus may occur as a result of immediately groups of factors: atherosclerosis, hypertension, senile, concussions, alcoholism and inflammatory diseases.
  • Moderately expressed hydrocephalus doesn’t manifest itself until, until the brain begins to suffer from a lack of oxygen (hypoxia). This can occur because of atherosclerosis, intoxication, injuries, chronic conditions or age-related changes. Form of hydrocephalus is characterized by a buildup of cerebrospinal fluid outside the brain and inside it.
  • Unexpressed form is one of the most dangerous, as it practically does not manifest itself.
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In the course of pathological processes external hydrocephalus of the brain is divided into three main types:

  • Open — this type involves processes of resorption of CSF in the pathologies of the venous sinuses and arachnoid membranes of the brain, which is accompanied by the ingress of cerebrospinal fluid into the venous bed.
  • Closed — off is accompanied by a change in the flow of cerebrospinal fluid due to improper closure of cerebrospinal fluid conducting paths (usually the consequence of inflammation, neoplasm or thrombosis).
  • Gipersecretornye — occurs because of increased secretion of CSF.

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External hydrocephalus may occur in acute, subacute or chronic forms. This depends on the overall symptoms. What is acute and subacute hydrocephalus? For the acute variety is characterized by rapid development of symptoms (up to three days), the subacute period is increased to one month. The main symptoms in this case will act as headaches, nausea sometimes accompanied by vomiting, blurred vision and drowsiness. The first two symptoms usually bother patients the morning after you Wake up. It is associated with changes in intracranial pressure during sleep. Drowsiness is an alarming symptom. Usually fatigue starts to disturb the patients when a serious neurological changes.

With the development of chronic forms there are absolutely other forms. The first «alarm bells» after 2 – 3 weeks after the development of the root causes of disease (e.g. trauma or stroke). For chronic forms of more typical mental changes. The patient starts to «confuse» the day with the night, preferring to sleep in the daytime, and at night — to be active. It is accompanied by symptoms of depression: passivity, indifference to the surrounding world, indifference, etc., there are memory problems, mainly with the memorization of numbers or digits (forgetting their age, date of birth, etc.). In the long course of the disease, the patient ceases to be able to serve himself, he have serious problems with mental activities. Late symptoms may be urinary incontinence.

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Diagnosis and treatment

Using computed tomography can determine the contours of the brain structures (e.g., meninges, or ventricles) and to identify tumors. A more detailed way is Mr. Painting outer substitution hydrocephalus, its expression and form, causes — all of this helps to understand this method of diagnosis.

Radiological methods of examination are used as necessary to determine the pathology, as well as the direction of movement of the CSF. If the disease is already quite developed, and it came to the psycho-neurological changes, it is mandatory consultation with an appropriate specialist. Neuropsychiatrist reveals the severity of problems with memory, thinking, etc. the Need for conservative or surgical treatment determined by the physician. Assigned diuretics, plasma substitutes, drugs to improve the tone of smooth muscles, corticosteroids, analgesics, etc.

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