Benign communicating hydrocephalus in children
A review was performed of the computed tomograms (CTs) of 500 children which had been reported as showing widening of the supratentorial subarachnoid spaces with normal cerebral substance. On the basis of this a radiological diagnosis of cerebral atrophy had been made in all but five, who were said to have megalencephaly. From these, the children with large or abnormally enlarging heads, but normal or only slightly enlarged ventricles, were selected; there were 40 such cases (8%). The clinical condition either improved or remained stable over a period of 2 years; in the majority the scan abnormality regressed (22.5%) or remained static (67.5%). In three cases there was slight progression of the CT changes before stabilisation, but only one case developed classical communicating hydrocephalus necessitating a shunt procedure. This condition is a generally benign and mild form of communicating hydrocephalus, for which an aetiological factor was apparent in about two-thirds of the cases studied.
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