Pathophysiology of Hydrocephalus

  1. The primary site of CSF formation is believed to be the choroid plexusus of the lateral ventricles. CSF flows from the lateral ventricles through the foramen of Monro to the third ventricle, then through the aqueduct of Sylvius into the fourth ventricle through the foramen of Luschka and the midline foramen of Magendie into the cisterna magna. From there it flows to the cerebral and cerebellar subarachnoid spaces where ti is absorbed.
  2. Causes of Hydrocephalus are varied but result in either impaired absorption of CSF within the arachnoid space (formerly referred to as communicating hydrocephalus) or obstruction to the flow of CSF through the ventricular system (formerly referred as noncommunicating hydrocephalus.
  3. Most cases of obstruction are the result of developmental malformations; other causes include neoplasms, infection and trauma. Obstruction to the normal flow can occur at any point in the CSF pathway, which produces increased pressure and dilation of the pathways proximal to the site of obstruction.
  4. Impaired absorption can result form meningitis, prenatal maternal infections, meningeal malignancy (secondary to leukemia or lymphoma), an arachnoid cyst, and tuberculosis.

Nursing Care Plan – Hydrocephalus

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