Management of hydrocephalus in infancy: use of acetazolamide and furosemide to avoid cerebrospinal fluid shunts

J Pediatr. 1985 Jul;107(1):31-7. doi: 10.1016/s0022-3476(85)80609-0.


Despite its effectiveness, cerebrospinal shunting for hydrocephalus continues to be accompanied by considerable complications and morbidity. Medical therapy with acetazolamide 100 mg/kg/day and furosemide 1 mg/kg/day can be an effective alternative to shunting by halting progression of hydrocephalus until such time as sutures can become fibrosed and spontaneous arrest can occur. In an appropriately selected population older than 2 weeks with hydrocephalus of varied origin, our success rate in avoiding shunting is greater than 50%. The dramatic difference between the number of hospitalizations of patients with shunts and those treated medically, and the potential to avoid shunt dependence would appear to make an initial trial with medical therapy worthwhile.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acetazolamide / administration & dosage*
  • Acetazolamide / adverse effects
  • Acid-Base Imbalance / chemically induced
  • Age Factors
  • Cerebrospinal Fluid Shunts / adverse effects
  • Drug Therapy, Combination
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Furosemide / administration & dosage*
  • Furosemide / adverse effects
  • Humans
  • Hydrocephalus / drug therapy*
  • Hydrocephalus / etiology
  • Hydrocephalus / surgery
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Length of Stay


  • Furosemide
  • Acetazolamide