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Childs Nerv Syst. 2007 Oct;23(10):1111-8. Epub 2007 Apr 12.

Hydrocephalus in children born in 1999-2002: epidemiology, outcome and ophthalmological findings.

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  • 1Department of Paediatrics, Halmstad County Hospital, Halmstad, Sweden.



The purpose of this study was to monitor incidence and outcome in children with hydrocephalus.


This is a population-based prospective study of all the children with hydrocephalus born in western Sweden in 1999-2002. Etiological and clinical information was collected from records, neuroimaging and ophthalmological examinations. Comparisons with 208 children born in 1989-1998 were made.


The incidence was 0.66 per 1,000 live births, 0.48 for infantile hydrocephalus and 0.18 for hydrocephalus associated with myelomeningocele. The corresponding rates for 1989-1998 were 0.82, 0.49 and 0.33. Ventriculo-peritoneal shunt treatment was used in 42 of the 54 children and endoscopic third ventriculostomy in 12. Revisions were performed in 33 (61%). Neurological impairments were present in 63%, and they were more common in children born preterm than in those born at term. The radiological extent of parenchymal lesions correlated significantly with outcome. Ophthalmological abnormalities were found in 80%, including visual impairment in one third.


The incidence of post-haemorrhagic hydrocephalus in children born extremely preterm increased; a group running a high risk of neurological sequelae. Ophthalmological abnormalities were frequent and need to be assessed in all children with hydrocephalus. The high rate of morbidity and complications necessitates the further development of preventive and treatment methods.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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