Post-hemorrhagic hydrocephalus presenting as cauda equina syndrome in a patient with spinal dysraphism

Matthew T. Bender, Geoffrey P. Colby, Judy Huang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Hydrocephalus has varied presentations in patients with a history of spinal dysraphism. This is a unique case of post-subarachnoid hemorrhage hydrocephalus presenting as cauda equina syndrome. We report on a 32-year-old woman with remotely repaired spinal defect who experienced subarachnoid hemorrhage and underwent anterior communicating artery aneurysm clipping. Post-operatively, she developed urinary and fecal incontinence as the sole presenting symptom of communicating post-hemorrhagic hydrocephalus. New neurological deficits in this population can also be attributed to recurrent cord tethering or syrinx, both of which were demonstrated on her lumbar spine MRI, but her incontinence resolved with external ventricular drain placement and cerebrospinal fluid diversion. There are few case reports of patients with closed neural tube defects and hydrocephalus and none in the adult population to our knowledge. Neurological change in patients with any history of spinal dysraphism may reflect altered cerebrospinal fluid dynamics affecting either end of the neuraxis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)159-161
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of Clinical Neuroscience
StatePublished - Apr 1 2016


  • Cauda equina
  • Hydrocephalus
  • Spinal dysraphism
  • Subarachnoid hemorrhage

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Physiology (medical)


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