Your pipsqueak finally to you. Mom and Dad with adoration and a certain amount of trouble looking at the crumbs. And this concern is understandable - little kids are exposed to various plagues and diseases. And one of these evils is the increased intracranial pressure. In our country, pediatricians love to put such a diagnosis, just for reassurance, not carry out the necessary examinations.
But at the heart of increased intracranial pressure, as a rule, are rather serious disease that requires immediate treatment. Otherwise, the child will only get worse, because the treatment of intracranial pressure is meaningless if not eliminated the source - the disease itself. In most cases, the increased intracranial pressure is a consequence of the disease, as hydrocephalus brain.
What is hydrocephalus?
Hydrocephalus is popularly called brain edema. Hydrocephalus volume brain ventricles increases, often very significant. The baby's brain is organized as follows: it has a number of cavities, called the ventricles, which communicate with each other. These cavities are filled with cerebrospinal fluid - liquor.
In the case of liquor produced too much, it accumulates in the cavities of the brain. This fact leads to the development of dropsy of brain, or hydrocephalus. Moreover, the greater the excess fluid, the more pronounced the disease, and the more general health suffers child and his brain.
Hydrocephalus is of several types, depending on the location of liquor. In that case the liquor can not fall from one to the other ventricle, hydrocephalus is called occlusive or unreported. If the liquor is free to move from one ventricle to the other, called hydrocephalus communicating and whether open.
In addition, hydrocephalus can be a major disease - primary or secondary: the result of other diseases, such as congenital malformations of the central nervous system, blood vessels of the brain, tumors of different nature backgrounds. There is still quite a large number of varieties of hydrocephalus, but they are all derivatives of these basic types.
Symptoms of hydrocephalus
It goes without saying that the malabsorption of cerebrospinal fluid and its circulation can not pass unnoticed to children's health. And the manifestations may be very different in different children, especially different age categories - up to two years, and after two years of age.
Symptoms before the age of two years:
The most important sign that a child is suffering from hydrocephalus, a rapid growth of head circumference. This happens due to the fact that the sutures of the skull in a small child not yet grown together, and the bones apart expands brain. There is approximately the same as when the balloon is inflated, but in the brain instead of air is excess water.
As you know, until the child reaches one year of age need to come to the pediatrician for a check once a month. The compulsory examination included measurement of head circumference. The doctor is a graph of growth of head circumference, with which you can track the increase in head circumference.
The most common cause of abnormal increase in head circumference is precisely hydrocephalus. In addition to the very rapid growth in head circumference of hydrocephalus may indicate changes in a large fontanelle - it increases in size and bulges excessively. Normally fontanelle should be closed to the age of one year, but if the child is suffering from hydrocephalus, fontanelle may be open in two years.
If you are interested in the look of hydrocephalus in children, a photo will help you get an idea. Varying proportions of the head - the skull bone is much thinner, resulting in the forehead increases and baby steps forward, becoming disproportionate. Under the skin of the forehead and the face is clearly visible venous network. If the disease continues to progress, eyes crumbs begin to descend, increases muscle tone of arms and legs.
There is a clear lag in the psychomotor development of the child:
- The child begins to hold the head in due time.
- The child begins to sit alone and even to attempt to sit down.
- The same goes for attempts to get up on their own.
A child suffering from hydrocephalus brain, sluggish, he is not of interest to anything around, often suddenly starts crying for no apparent reason. Doctors suggest that the child often feels headaches as a pipsqueak often grabs his head.
There is a huge number of different symptoms of increased intracranial pressure. However, most of them are able to recognize only experienced doctors - a pediatrician, neurologist or neurosurgeon. The only thing that the power of parents - is independently measured the circumference of the baby's head and mark a change in his behavior and psychomotor development. In that case, if the parents and the district pediatrician notice any abnormalities in the growth and development of the child, this should be a serious cause for a complete and thorough examination of the child. This examination is necessary to exclude the presence of a child hydrocephalus.
Symptoms of hydrocephalus in children older than two years of age:
If hydrocephalus develops in children older than two years of age, symptoms of the disease looks a little - other than babies. The most classic symptom of increased intracranial pressure in children older than two years is a constant headache, accompanied by nausea and even vomiting exhausting. Most often this phenomenon is observed in the night and morning hours. In addition, a child suffering from hydrocephalus, often occur pathological changes of the fundus, due to the fact that the child comes papilledema. Such violations easily detected on examination of the child doctor - ophthalmologist.
Parents should always remember that any headaches in children, and especially those that are accompanied by nausea and vomiting, are almost always terrible symptoms that require immediate examination of the child doctor - neurologist or neurosurgeon. After hydrocephalus is not the only possible cause of these symptoms. Nausea and vomiting can be caused by a variety of tumors and malformations of the brain.
Tragically, pediatricians often just simply overlooked this fact. As a result, the child gets it absolutely right treatment of diseases such as pancreatitis, gastritis, dyskinesia of the gallbladder, poisoning and other gastrointestinal disease. As a result, the child goes to the doctor - neurologist only when it becomes clear to doctors that the treatment failed. But valuable time has been lost, the disease can take the form of running, and the treatment will be much more difficult and less productive.
In that case, if the parents notice their child have these symptoms, they should insist on the immediate examination of the child by a neurologist. In that case, if the disease is diagnosed in the early stages, the prognosis is much more favorable than in advanced forms. And sometimes only timely diagnosis can save the life of a baby.
There are a number of symptoms that may indicate the presence of a child hydrocephalus. These symptoms include epileptic seizures, increased tone of the arms and legs, incontinence, impaired vision. Furthermore, frequent hydrocephalus various disorders of the endocrine system: lead or lag in growth, precocious puberty, obesity.
Causes of Hydrocephalus
Of course, knowing that their child is sick hydrocephalus, they begin to wonder, "Why? ". Clear answer to this question is simply impossible. The following are the main reasons leading to the development of hydrocephalus:
The level of modern medicine is quite high, and modern methods of prenatal diagnosis allows doctors to identify the fetus hydrocephalus. For example, ultrasound diagnosis reveals hydrocephalus brain already at 16 - 20 weeks of pregnancy. Most often hydrocephalus in utero cause intrauterine infections such as herpes, toxoplasmosis or cytomegalovirus.
That is why, when planning a pregnancy, it is important to pass all the tests for latent infection, and, if necessary, pass the appropriate course of treatment. This measure will help you prevent a huge number of health problems in the crumbs, and not just the risk of hydrocephalus. In more rare cases, hydrocephalus may develop due to genetic predisposition.
The cause of hydrocephalus of the brain in newborn infants in 90% of all cases are congenital malformations of the brain or spinal cord, as well as transferred intrauterine infections. Much less often, but it happens that the cause of hydrocephalus is the birth trauma, especially those crumbs that were born prematurely.
- Hydrocephalus in older children
In that case, if the development of hydrocephalus occurs in children over one year of age, the causes can be myriad. Such reasons may include: meningitis, encephalitis, infectious diseases such as, vascular malformations of the brain, brain injury, genetic disorders. Sometimes, unfortunately, reveal why hydrocephalus of the brain in children, in some cases, not possible.
Diagnosis of the disease
In order to diagnose hydrocephalus, the physician should interview the parents and the child to explore. After that, the crumbs will be a number of studies:
- NSG - (neurosonography).
- Computed tomography.
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- Ultrasound examination of the brain. Held children under two-year-old.
Based on these data the doctor will put the correct diagnosis and choose is suitable for your child's treatment policy.
Treatment of Hydrocephalus
In that case, if the diagnosis of hydrocephalus is confirmed, the child just need to consult a neurosurgeon. In almost all cases, the treatment of hydrocephalus should be surgical. And it is able to identify both the neurosurgeon indications and contraindications for surgery. In case this is not done in a timely manner, adopt a chronic disease during running, and the treatment will be more difficult.
Of course, all parents worry about the upcoming operation. However, do not tighten too much with the decision. It constantly increased intracranial pressure leads to psychomotor retardation, which is not always possible to make up later.
Also, do not forget about the size of baby's head. As already mentioned, it leads to hydrocephalus, brain which the circumference of the head is constantly increasing. And after the surgery she will not return to the same size, and only cease to grow. And the longer you delay the operation, the greater the increase in size of your baby's head.
The sense operation is to move from the ventricles of the brain in which - or other body cavity, from where it is easily eliminated from the body. Most often used for this purpose ventriculo-peritoneal shunt. Doctor system assembles a kind of silicone catheters which CSF from the ventricles of the brain to the peritoneal cavity.
These operations each year not only to save hundreds of children's lives, but also allow the kiddies like to lead a full life: to attend kindergarten, school.