• We studied 173 children with myelomeningocele, 133 of whom developed hydrocephalus (and had shunt procedures) and 40 of whom did not. Eighty siblings were tested as a control group. Sixty-three percent of children with hydrocephalus had IQs above 80; 87% of those without hydrocephalus had IQs above 80. Children who had associated hydrocephalus were significantly less intelligent than their siblings, whereas those without hydrocephalus were not. When patients and siblings were matched by age and IQ, the former scored significantly lower on a perceptual-motor functioning test. When patients with and without hydrocephalus were similarly matched, those with hydrocephalus scored lower. Inverse relationships between sac location and IQ, and sensory level and IQ, were found to be dependent on the association of higher sac levels and of sensory loss with hydrocephalus. Patient IQ was related to family income and education.
(Am J Dis Child 131:199-204, 1977)