Volume 2003, Issue 2
  • ISSN: 0253-8253
  • EISSN: 2227-0426


Objective: Hydrocephalus is a common condition seen in the neurosurgical practice that usually requires insertion of a cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) shunt. It is commonly seen in our country for possible several reasons; some of them are the prohibition of abortion and increased consanguinity marriages. In this study, the authors retrospectively analyzed 124 hydrocephalic patients operated upon at our institute for three years period. Our aim is to verify the extent of the problem in our community, addressed some facts and to improve our services.

Methods: Between January 1999 and December 2001, 124 patients with hydrocephalus underwent CSF shunt operations (insertions and revisions) at King Fahd Hospital of the University were retrospectively analyzed to assess the etiology, clinical presentation, management and outcome.

Results: In this study, 124patients were analyzed. 244 operations were performed. 96patients (72.4%) had congenital hydrocephalus, 24 patients (20%) had associated cranial anomalies, 32 patients (25%), their parents were relatives. 70 patients (56%) had noticeable mental retardation. Shunt malfunction reported in 71 patients (57%) and the infection rate was 8% (10 patients).

Conclusion: The higher incidence of hydrocephalus between Saudi population possibly due to consanguinity marriages and prohibition of abortion. Premarital counseling and people orientation about this problem might help to reduce the number of cases. Shunt infection and malfunction are still the main complications of shunting. There is possibility of reducing the complication's rate if a special protocol is advocated and strictly followed.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): HydrocephalusInfectionMalfunction and Shunt
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