epidemiology of hydrocephalus

FREE subscriptions for doctors and students... click here
You have 3 more open access pages.

The exact epidemiology of hydrocephalus in children and adults is unknown.

  • it is thought to affect 0.9 to 1.5 per 1000 births which increases to 1.3 to 2.9 per 1000 birth when congenital abnormalities are considered (e.g. spina bifida, myemeninocele)

There are conflicting reports on the icidence of paediatric hydrocepahuls with some suggesting a decline in the incidence in the developed countries while others indicate  increased rates because of improved survival of premature infants

  • higher rates of hydrocephalus is seen in developing countries than in developed countries (due to  high rates of neonatal infection and neural tube defects)
    • a prospective observational study of hydrocephalus in east Africa estimated more than 6000 new cases a year (1,2)

Smilarly the incidence of normal pressure hydrocephalus (NPH) remains uncertain due to differences in diagnostic criteria between different centres

  • a recent study surveying 49 centers in Germany known to care for NPH patients estimated 1.8 cases per 100 000 people. (2)  


Last reviewed 01/2018