Hydrocephalus causes damage to periventricular white matter at least in part through chronic ischemia. Emphasizing the periventricular ischemia/hypoxia in hydrocephalus, various authors indicated the secondary biochemical impairment and oxidative damage in experimentally induced and congenital hydrocephalic rat brain. (-)-Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), the main constituent of green tea polyphenols, has been shown to be of some protective value in various models of neurological injury as a free oxygen radical scavenger. In the present study the effects of EGCG were examined on the periventricular oxidative damage in experimental childhood-onset hydrocephalus. Hydrocephalus was induced in 3 weeks-old rat pups by kaolin injection into the cisterna magna. A single daily dose of 50 mg/kg of EGCG injected into the peritoneum of the rats for 15 days significantly reduced periventricular white matter malondialdehyde levels when compared to non-treated hydrocephalic animals. Our results indicate that EGCG may have a protective effect against periventricular white matter oxidative damage in hydrocephalus induced infantile rats. (C) 2003 Tohoku University Medical Press.