Ventricular wall granulations and draining of cerebrospinal fluid in chronic giant hydrocephalus

Joseph C. Masdeu, Belen Pascual, Federica Bressi, Manuele Casale, Elena Prieto, Javier Arbizu, Maria A. Fernandez-Seara

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Background: In rare cases, adults with normal or almost normal cognition may have giant brain ventricles surrounded by a sliver of brain. Because the usual flow of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) is interrupted in these individuals, they may develop alternative CSF pathways to preserve brain function. Objective: To describe novel morphologic autopsy findings in a patient with chronic giant hydrocephalus that suggest the existence of alternative CSF draining pathways. Design: Case report. Setting: Autopsy study. Patient: A 48-year-old man with chronic compensated hydrocephalus associated with a Dandy-Walker malformation. Main Outcome Measure: Autopsy findings. Results: We observed microscopic structures on the ventricular wall that may facilitate CSF resorption. Their histologic appearance, reminiscent of pacchionian granulations, showed the opposite relation in regard to CSF/blood compartments: whereas the core of a pacchionian granulation contains CSF and the granulation is bathed in blood of the venous sinus, the core of the ventricular granulation in our patient contained venules, with the granulation bathed in ventricular CSF. Conclusions: These previously unreported (to our knowledge) ventricular wall granulations may facilitate draining of CSF into the venous system when CSF outflow from the ventricular system is occluded. The presence of these ventricular structures illustrates biologic adaptation to anomalous conditions and successful compensation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)262-267
Number of pages6
JournalArchives of neurology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Clinical Neurology


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