Hydrocephalus - Glossary


Arachnoid Villae: Mushroom-like membranes over the brain, through which CSF is diffused into the bloodstream.


Anesthesiologist: Physician who administers pain-killing medications during surgery.


Cerebrospinal Fluid (CSF): Water-like fluid produced in the brain that circulates around and protects the brain and spinal cord.


Choroid Plexus: Specialised tissue within the ventricle of the brain, which produces CSF.


CT Scan (computed tomography scan): A diagnostic imaging technique in which a computer reads x-rays to create a three-dimensional map of the brain.


Cranium: The part of the skull that holds the brain.


Hydrocephalus: A condition in which too much CSF accumulates within the ventricles of the brain and increases intracranial pressure.


Intracranial Pressure (ICP): The overall pressure inside the skull.


MRI (magnetic resonance imaging): Diagnostic test that produces three-dimensional images of body structures using powerful magnets and computer technology rather than x-rays.


Meningitis: An infection or inflammation of the membranes covering the brain and spinal cord.


Peritoneal Cavity: Body cavity in which the abdominal organs are situated.


Shunt: A tube or device implanted in the body (usually made of Silastic) to redivert excess CSF away from the brain to another place in the body.


Spina Bifada: A congenital defect of the spine marked by the absence of a portion of the spine.


Subdural Hematoma: A collection of blood (clot) trapped under the dura matter, the outermost membrane surrounding the brain and spinal cord.


Ultrasound: The use of high-frequency sound to create images of internal body structures.


Valve: Device placed in a shunt system to regulate the rate and direction of CSF flow.


Ventricle: Cavity inside the brain, which contains CSF and choroid plexus.


X-ray: Application of electromagnetic radiation to produce a film or picture of a bone or soft-tissue area of the body.