Importance of Prenatal Diagnosis in the Effective Management of the Hydrocephalic Fetus: A Case Report in the Douala General Hospital, Cameroon
Congenital hydrocephalus is a well-known entity which is usually associated with other intracranial and extracranial malformations. The complications related to this condition range from intracranial (hypoplasia of the corpus callosum, encephalocele and arachnoid cysts) in 37% cases to extracranian malformations (myelomeningocele, renal agenesis, Fallot’s tetralogy, septal defects, cleft palate, Meckel-Gruber Syndrome etc.) in 63% cases. The cornerstone to management is good prenatal follow-up with targeted neurosonograms and search for associated problems. During this time the decision for continuing or terminating the pregnancy is taken after patient counseling. Towards term, decisions will be made on the mode of delivery (vaginal or cesarean delivery) depending on the presentation of the fetus. Furthermore, it is important to avoid maneuvers that would lead to maternal and fetal jeopardy. Finally, we advise early referral of patients who are clinically suspected to carry fetuses with hydrocephalus to better equipped centers where sonographic confirmation and search for associated malformations could be done and appropriate and timely management of cases thereby reducing maternal-fetal morbidity and mortality.