Congenital hydrocephalus is present at birth and may be caused by either events or influences that occur during fetal development, or genetic abnormalties.
Acquired hydrocephalus develops at the time of birth or at some point afterward. This type of hydrocephalus can affect individuals of all ages and may be caused by injury or disease.
Communicating hydrocephalus occurs when the flow of CSF is blocked after it exits the ventricles. This form is called communicating or "non-obstructive" hydrocephalus because the CSF can still flow between the ventricles, which remain open.
Non-communicating hydrocephalus - also called "obstructive" hydrocephalus - occurs when the flow of CSF is blocked along one or more of the narrow passages connecting the ventricles. One of the most common causes of hydrocephalus is "aqueductal stenosis." In this case, hydrocephalus results from a narrowing of the aqueduct of Sylvius, a small passage between the third and fourth ventricles in the middle of the brain.
There are two other forms of hydrocephalus which do not fit exactly into the categories mentioned above and primarily affect adults: hydrocephalus ex-vacuo and normal pressure hydrocephalus.
Hydrocephalus ex-vacuo occurs when stroke or traumatic injury cause damage to the brain. In these cases, brain tissue may actually shrink.
NORMAL PRESSURE HYDROCEPHALUS
Normal pressure hydrocephalus can happen to people at any age, but it is most common among the elderly. It may result from a subarachnoid hemorrhage, head trauma, infection, tumor, or complications of surgery. However, many people develop normal pressure hydrocephalus even when none of these factors are present for reasons that are unknown.