Long-term Management and Outcome of Hydrocephalus in Children Homepage

 

Author

Matthieu Vinchon, M.D.

Editor

Shlomi Constantini, M.D.

Editor in Chief

Rick Abbott, M.D.

Introduction

Pediatric hydrocephalus is an acute disease that has become chronic as a result of successful surgical management. Long-term survivors of pediatric hydrocephalus, historically a small number, now comprise the bulk of such patients. The clinical outcomes of these patients are not well documented in the literature, and their management poses a complicated challenge to neurosurgeons. The functional outcomes of these patients and their integration into adult society are also of interest for evaluating the medico-economic impact of medical and surgical management.

Key Points

  • Growing population: Patients treated for hydrocephalus during childhood are becoming a large population in need of continuing medical and surgical management.
  • Lifelong condition: Lifelong follow-up is necessary for all patients with shunts.
  • Morbidity due to disease, not treatment: Sequelae of the initial disease represent the largest cause of morbidity in these patients, not the shunt.
  • Current treatment allows normal activities: Sequelae permitting, patients with shunts should be encouraged to engage in all normal activities.