Group Title: Cerebrospinal Fluid Research 2006, 3:3
Title: Review of "Pediatric Hydrocephalus" by Guiseppe Cinalli, Wirginia Maixner, Christian Sainte-Rose (editors)
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Title: Review of "Pediatric Hydrocephalus" by Guiseppe Cinalli, Wirginia Maixner, Christian Sainte-Rose (editors)
Series Title: Cerebrospinal Fluid Research 2006, 3:3
Physical Description: Archival
Creator: Jones HC
Publication Date: 38798
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Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: Open Access: http://www.biomedcentral.com/info/about/openaccess/

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Book review


Review of "Pediatric Hydrocephalus" by Guiseppe Cinalli, Wirginia
Maixner, Christian Sainte-Rose (editors)
Hazel C Jones*1,2


Address: 'Department of Pharmacology, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32610, USA and 2Gagle Brook House, Chesterton, Bicester, Oxon
OX26 1UF, UK
Email: Hazel C Jones* hjones@ufl.edu
* Corresponding author


Published: 22 March 2006
Cerebrospinal Fluid Research2006, 3:3 doi:10.1 186/1743-8454-3-3


Received: 23 February 2006
Accepted: 22 March 2006


This article is available from: http://www.cerebrospinalfluidresearch.com/content3//3
2006Jones; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0),
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.



Abstract
This review summarizes the content and usefulness of this multi-author volume for those involved
in the treatment of pediatric hydrocephalus.


Disorders of the central nervous system can be very dis-
tressing at any time of life, but particularly so when they
affect children. Hydrocephalus is the most common prob-
lem encountered by pediatric neurosurgeons and is a dis-
order for which there is no absolute cure. Hydrocephalus
can be broadly defined as enlargement of the cerebral ven-
tricles with an excess of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). It has
many different causes but the most usual are obstructions
of various types in the CSF flow pathway.

Progress in basic biomedical research has provided new
and compelling evidence for a fundamental role of the
CSF in promoting and maintaining brain function. It is
important during development where it provides vital
growth factors and signals for the control of neurogenesis
[1]. It has essential roles in the mature brain for homeo-
static control of the brain fluid environment [2], for neu-
roendocrine signaling [3] and for migration of
neuroblasts to the olfactory bulb [4]. CSF function is also
very important in the aging brain, which is prone to neu-
rological disease and age-related dementia [5,6]. It fol-
lows, therefore, that when normal CSF flow and chemical
composition are disturbed in hydrocephalus, there are
adverse effects in the brain. The subtleties of the conse-
quences of abnormal CSF flow and composition are only
beginning to be understood and there is no doubt that


much more will be revealed in the future. These facts
make it imperative that patients with hydrocephalus are
diagnosed and treated in a timely and appropriate man-
ner. Because of the nature of the condition, treatment for
hydrocephalus is necessarily directed towards alleviation
of the signs and symptoms by neurosurgical methods.
Optimal outcome also requires appropriate patient man-
agement throughout life.

'Pediatric Hydrocephalus' is a specialist book written by
clinicians for clinicians. It is directed at neurosurgeons,
pediatric neurologists and pediatricians and will also be
of interest to radiologists, pathologists and clinical genet-
icists. It draws upon the clinical experience of fifty-eight
experts. The subject matter is divided into thirty-three
chapters and covers the following aspects of hydrocepha-
lus: genetics, CSF physiology, pathophysiology, classifica-
tion, and imaging techniques together with twelve
chapters on the different types of hydrocephalus, four
chapters on shunt hardware, surgery and complications,
and eight chapters on endoscopy and third ventriculos-
tomy. Long-term outcome and behavioral aspects of
hydrocephalic children are not presented in any detail.

Shunt treatment for hydrocephalus was introduced into
practice in the 1960s, when it significantly reduced the

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mortality rate. Since then, there have been numerous
developments with improved diagnosis and innovations
in neurosurgical techniques. This book gives a modem
perspective on all aspects of treatment. The chapters on
types of hydrocephalus with different etiologies include
the diagnosis, treatment and outcomes for posthemor-
rhagic hydrocephalus, hydrocephalus due to tumors and
other space-occupying lesions, hydrocephalus associated
with myelomeningocele and with Dandy-Walker malfor-
mation, with parasitic and fungal disease and with aque-
ductal stenosis. The principles of shunt design and
insertion techniques are explained, as are complications
such as slit ventricle syndrome, shunt infections and
shunt malfunction, together with abdominal problems at
the distal end. It is good to see a discussion on the relative
merits of shunt versus endoscopy treatments, thus bring-
ing the newer endoscopic techniques into perspective. The
advantages of modem imaging techniques both for diag-
nosis and post-operative assessment are emphasized. The
two final chapters cover the specific complications of
endocrine disturbances and epilepsy in hydrocephalic
patients. Throughout the book, the text is clearly pre-
sented with subheadings and high-quality illustrations.

In summary, this book will be of great benefit to both
aspiring and practicing neurosurgeons worldwide.

Competing interests
The authors) declare that they have no competing inter-
ests.

Authors' contributions
Sole author.

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