Idiopathic membranous occlusion of the foramen of Monro: an unusual cause of hydrocephalus and headache in adults

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Occlusion of foramen of Monro is an uncommon clinical entity that usually presents in children. Common causes are obstructing mass, infectious etiologies or vascular malformation. Rarely, it may be an idiopathic stricture or membrane. We report a case of idiopathic membranous obstruction of the foramen of Monro in a 45-year-old male with no past medical or surgical history. He presented with new intermittent dull and burning bifrontal severe headache for 2 d, which was alleviated slightly by non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication. Imaging showed marked dilation of the lateral ventricles with normal third and fourth ventricles. The patient was discharged initially with conservative medical management and close follows up; however, the headache continued to progress and neurosurgical intervention was offered. The patient underwent endoscopic exploration, fenestration of the septum pellucidum, and right ventriculoperitoneal shunt placement. Bilateral membranous obstruction of foramina of Monro and an auto-fenestrated cavum septum pellucidum were identified intraoperatively. The patient reported resolution of headache post-operatively without recurrence on 1-month follow up. This case is unusual in that the patient presented without any known neurologic history or prior intracranial infections. It became apparent at the time of surgery that chronic obstruction of the bilateral foramina with collapse of the third ventricle had developed, and the safest durable treatment for him was septostomy and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) shunt placement. .

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1319-1321
Number of pages3
JournalBritish Journal of Neurosurgery
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2023


  • CSF shunt
  • Foramen of Monro obstruction
  • headache
  • hydrocephalus
  • neuroendoscopy
  • septostomy


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