The aim of this study is to evaluate the clinical history and prognosis of children with early-onset hydrocephalus. The retrospective study's inclusion criteria were hydrocephalus diagnosis before the age of 5 years, independent of aetiology, and birth details, January 1, 2000 to December 31, 2014. Overall, 142 children were entered into the study, divided into 11 aetiological groups: premature-birth post-intraventricular haemorrhage (16%), brain tumours (16%), spina bifida (15%), aqueductal stenosis (8%), post-meningitis (8%), post-haemorrhage (8%), Dandy-Walker malformation (6%), unknown origin (6%), arachnoid cyst (5%), miscellaneous obstruction (4%), and various causes (8%). In total, 23 patients died, primarily from the tumour group. Ventriculostomy, performed 42 times, was successful in 20 patients. Overall, 226 internal shunts were placed in 99 children. Infectious complications affected 19% of children after shunt placement and 51% after mechanical complications. Mean follow-up was 4 years 10 months, with 61% of children progressing fairly well, especially those with aqueductal stenosis, cysts, and unknown or diverse obstructive causes. Post-meningitis hydrocephalus displayed the poorest outcome. Isolated obstructive hydrocephalus exhibited better prognosis, with most obstructive aetiologies effectively treated via ventriculostomy. Children treated by shunt placement were more at risk of complications. Aetiologies with associated abnormalities and neurological sequelae had poorer outcomes.
Keywords: Development; Hydrocephalus; Paediatrics; Prognosis.