✓The authors present the case of a 3-year-old girl with a history of myelomeningocele repair, ventriculoperitoneal (VP) shunt placement for hydrocephalus, and shaken baby syndrome who presented in a hypernatremic state as a result of dehydration. At the time of presentation, the patient had experienced a 1-week-long history of diarrhea associated with antibiotic agents used to treat a coexisting pyelonephritis. On admission, the patient exhibited signs and symptoms of dehydration and was discovered to have profound hypernatremia with a serum sodium level of 180 mmol/L. A computerized tomography (CT) scan of the head revealed ventricular enlargement compared with previous imaging findings. A shunt tap revealed intracranial hypotension with good proximal flow. The child was treated for her hyper-natremic state, and her neurological condition returned to baseline level. Subsequent CT scans of the head demonstrated a return of the ventricular system to its premorbid size.
On the basis of the initial radiographic presentation and subsequent evaluation, the authors hypothesize that the ventricular enlargement was a result of hypernatremia. The signs and symptoms were similar to those found in patients with a VP shunt obstruction; however, a shunt tap revealed intracranial hypotension and excellent proximal flow. To the authors’ knowledge, there has not been a radiographically documented case of reversible ventricular enlargement associated with hypernatremia.