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Did You Know?

Hydrocephalus is a combination of the Greek word “hydro” which means water and “cephalus” which means head.

Types of Hydrocephalus


There are two main types of hydrocephalus

  • Congenital hydrocephalus
    • occurs before, during, or soon after birth, or later in life because of a medical condition that existed at birth
  • Acquired hydrocephalus
    • occurs later in life because something is preventing the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) in the brain from draining properly
  • Communicating hydrocephalus
    • occurs when something prevents the CSF from circulating properly. It is called “communicating hydrocephalus” because the parts of the brain that circulate the CSF are not communicating or “talking to each other” properly.
  • Non-communicating (obstructive) hydrocephalus
    • occurs when something blocks the flow of CSF so it cannot circulate properly.

Hydrocephalus is also categorized by the effect it has inside the skull:

DSUS/COD/1214/0212 - 01/2015