Objective: To evaluate and identify the risk factors associated with the pathogenesis of congenital hydrocephalus in a large specific population.
Methods: We utilized an ICD-9 database search of congenital hydrocephalus patients treated at the Univeristy of Mississippi Medical Center (UMMC) between 1998 and 2007. All recruited patients were interviewed, and assessment included: maternal age, onset of prenatal care, geographic location of pregnancy, maternal diabetes and chronic hypertension, pregnancy-induced hypertension, preeclampsia, eclampsia, single or multiparous gestation, maternal alcohol, tobacco, and drug use, infection and trauma during gestation, trauma or sexually transmitted disease at parturition, and other family members with hydrocephalus.
Results: In this ten-year retrospective study, we have identified several significant risk factors among 596 well defined cases of congenital hydrocephalus. The identified risk factors included lack of prenatal care, multiparous gestation, maternal diabetes, maternal chronic hypertension, maternal hypertension during gestation, and alcohol use during pregnancy. Of these congenital hydrocephalus patients, 12.1% identified an additional family member also diagnosed with hydrocephalus. No differences in risk factors were identified between sporadic and familial congenital hydrocephalus cases except an increased incidence of multiparous pregnancies and prenatal care in the first trimester in familial cases.
Conclusions: A number of key risk factors have been identified to be strongly associated with the development of congenital hydrocephalus in an infant. The prevalence of familial patterns of inheritance for congenital hydrocephalus suggests a broader role for genetic factors in the pathogenesis of congenital hydrocephalus. Abbreviations: CH, Congenital hydrocephalus
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