Johns Hopkins Hydrocephalus and Cerebral Fluid Center

The experts at the Johns Hopkins Hydrocephalus and Cerebral Fluid Center evaluate and treat patients with all forms of disorders affecting cerebral fluid (also called cerebrospinal fluid, CSF or spinal fluid), including conditions related to the accumulation of CSF in the brain (hydrocephalus). We offer a unique environment where neurosurgeons, neurologists, pain experts and therapists work together to provide patients with well-rounded treatments. People who experience hydrocephalus since childhood find a comfortable transition from pediatric to adult care at our center.

Our Cerebral Fluid Disorders Experts

Our multi-specialty team includes neurosurgeons, neurologists, a geriatrician, as well as advanced practitioners (physician assistants and nurse practitioners) who work together to develop a custom treatment plan for each patient.

An Overview of Our Center

The Johns Hopkins Hydrocephalus and Cerebral Fluid Center continues a 100-year legacy of research and treatment for patients diagnosed with hydrocephalus and CSF disorders. Hear from leaders in the field who are working to advance surgical approaches and improve diagnosis and follow-up, and from the patients who are benefiting from this work.

Tests and Procedures

As part of evaluation or treatment, we may perform multiple diagnostic and therapeutic procedures. We hope to eliminate misdiagnosis that commonly happens in patients with hydrocephalus, and to provide the best medical and surgical treatment so you can regain health and continue to lead a productive, meaningful life.


  • Neurologic evaluation, including gate and balance testing
  • Neuro-ophthalmological examination, including testing of the vision function

Stenting for Pseudotumor Cerebri

  • Stenting helps open up narrowed passageways that carry blood and CSF from the brain to the jugular veins and eventually to the heart.


  • Shunt placement to help drain cerebrospinal fluid and redirect it to another location in the body where it can be reabsorbed.
  • Shunt patency study to evaluate shunt performance

Lumbar Puncture and Drain

  • Lumbar puncture to measure CSF pressure
  • Removing a larger volume of CSF to assess and temporarily relieve symptoms of hydrocephalus
  • Lumbar drain for extended CSF drainage to assess a potential benefit of a shunt

Intracranial Pressure Monitoring

  • Helps detect changes in pressure over time and can be done in two ways:
    • Lumbar via a lumbar catheter
    • Direct via a small pressure-sensitive probe inserted through the skull

Patient Stories

Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus: Patricia's Story

Pseudotumor Cerebri: Ashley’s Story

Appointments and Referrals

Clinical Trials

The Cerebral Fluid Center continually advances medical understanding of hydrocephalus and other conditions affecting cerebrospinal fluid through basic science, translational and clinical studies.
  • Hydrocephalus Studies

    Browse hydrocephalus studies in the Johns Hopkins Institute for Clinical and Translational Research database.

  • CSF Trials

    View CSF trials active at Johns Hopkins on