What is Hydranencephaly?
- It is a rare condition in which the cerebral hemispheres of the brain are absent.
- An infant born with hydranencephaly may appear normal at birth.
- There is no definite treatment available for hydranencephaly.
- Children with hydranencephaly generally have poor prognosis
Hydranencephaly is a rare condition in which the cerebral hemispheres of the brain are absent and replaced by sacs filled with cerebrospinal fluid. An infant born with hydranencephaly may appear normal at birth. The size of the head and spontaneous reflexes such as sucking, swallowing, crying and moving the arms and legs may all seem normal but after weeks the infant usually becomes irritable and has increased tone. After a few months, the excessive accumulation of cerebrospinal fluid may develop.
Other Symptoms of hydranencephaly include:
lack of growth
Causes of hydranencephaly
This condition is considered as the extreme form of porencephaly, a rare disorder which is characterized by a cyst or cavity in the cerebral hemispheres and may be caused by traumatic disorders after the 12 week of pregnancy or due to some vascular infections. There were cases where intrauterine infection was determined as a causing factor. Some common viral infections are enterovirus, adenovirus, parovirus, cytomegalic, herpes simplex, Epstein barr and syncytial viruses.
Although there is no definitely treatment available for hydranencephaly therefore each symptom is treated individually. Sometimes a shunt, which is a surgically implanted tube that diverts fluid from one pathway to another, is used to help a baby with the condition.
Children with hydranencephaly generally have poor prognosis as many children with this disorder die before the age of one. However, in rare cases children with hydranencephaly may survive for several or more.
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Source: Onlymyhealth editorial team Oct 05, 2012
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