Craniofacial configuration and postcranial development of a hydrocephalic child (ca. 2500 B.C.–500 A.D.): With a review of cases and comment on diagnostic criteria

Gary D. Richards, Susan C. Anton

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Abstract

    Hydrocephalus is a severe disorder of the central nervous system characterized by absorption blockage of the cerebral spinal fluid (CSF). The archaeological record of the condition ranges in time from 10,000 B.C. to 1670 A.D. and consists of 30 possible cases worldwide. A review of this material reveals that diagnostic criteria which fully delineate the condition have not been established. Previously, no attempt has been made to differentiate the two major categories of hydrocephalus and their subgroupings, or to identify other conditions which might result in similar morphologies. A partial child's skeleton from the Middle Period (ca. 2500 B.C. to 500 A.D.) of Central California Prehistory is described in light of an extensive clinical literature. Examination of this individual reveals a unique craniofacial configuration and malformed postcrania. Bony criteria for a differential diagnosis of hydrocephalus are established and applied to this individual. Based on these criteria, the individual is diagnosed as having a chronic form of noncommunicating hydrocephalus. Blockage of the CSF pathway most likely occurred in the aqueduct of Sylvius with a partial occlusion of the foramen of Monro or a frontal cyst. In addition, femoral development is suggestive of partial paralysis.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)185-200
    Number of pages16
    JournalAmerican Journal of Physical Anthropology
    Volume85
    Issue number2
    DOIs
    StatePublished - Jun 1991

    Keywords

    • Developmental defects
    • Growth
    • Human osteology
    • Paleopathology
    • World prehistory

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Anatomy
    • Anthropology

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