Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

Overview Incidence Risk Factors Symptoms Arnold-Chiari hydrocephalus tethered cord syndrome Treatment specialist Home Care warning signs Prevention diet Complications Underlying Cause Types Anatomy

Meningocele Complications

About 9 out of every 10 children with severe spina bifida will develop hydrocephalus. Hydrocephalus is a disorder caused by excessive cerebrospinal fluid in the brain. Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) is produced by the central nervous system, and surrounds the brain and spinal cord.

The volume of fluid normally remains constant as the bloodstream constantly reabsorbs the fluid, in order to maintain a constant pressure. Hydrocephalus results from the build-up of CSF. This condition is normally controlled with a VP shunt, which drains excess CSF into the abdomen.

Arnold-Chiari malformation
Spina bifida causes the brainstem and cerebellum to become stretched and displaced downward. This causes problems with breathing, blood pressure, swallowing, and muscle coordination.

Tethered spinal cord
The spinal cord is firmly attached in place at the location of the spina bifida. With the spinal cord firmly attached to the brain and abnormally tethered to the spina bifida, the cord begins to stretch during growth. This can cause damage to the spinal cord, as well as the surrounding blood vessels that supply the cord.

Continue to Meningocele Underlying Cause

Last Updated: Sep 30, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Meningocele References
  1. Barf HA, Verhoef M, Jennekens-Schinkel A, Post MW, Gooskens RH, Prevo AJ. Cognitive status of young adults with spina bifida. Dev Med Child Neurol. 2003 Dec;45(12):813-20. [14667073]
  2. Mitchell LE, Adzick NS, Melchionne J, Pasquariello PS, Sutton LN, Whitehead AS. Spina bifida. Lancet. 2004 Nov 20-26;364(9448):1885-95. [15555669]
  3. Rendeli C, Ausili E, Tabacco F, Caliandro P, Aprile I, Tonali P, Salvaggio E, Padua L. Assessment of health status in children with spina bifida. Spinal Cord. 2005 Apr;43(4):230-5. [15655570]
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