Arnold Chiari Malformation with Syrinx

Topics: Arnold-Chiari malformation, Syringomyelia, Brain Pages: 3 (647 words) Published: May 31, 2013
Arnold chiari malformation with syrinx
Carrie Lee

Chiari malformation is a condition in which brain tissue protrudes into the spinal canal. They affect the area in the lower back of the skull where the brain and spinal cord connect. They are named after Hans Chiari, an Austrian pathologist, who first identified types I-III in 1891. Julius Arnold further expanded the definition of Chiari malformation type II and some medical sources began using the name Arnold-Chiari malformation. They have also been known as congenital tonsillar herniation, tonsillar ectopia or tonsillar descent.

Doctors categorize the malformations in to four types, depending on the anatomy of the brain tissue that is displaced into the spinal canal, and whether developmental abnormalities of the brain or spine are present.

Type I is the most common type in older children. The lower part of the cerebellum – but not the brain stem – extends into an opening at the base of the skull. The opening is called the foramen magnum. Normally, only the spinal cord passes through this opening. Type I is also the only type of the malformation that can be acquired.

Severe headaches are a common symptom that are usually precipitated with sudden coughing, sneezing, or straining. Other symptoms include: Neck pain, problems with balance, poor hand coordination, numbness and tingling of the hands and feet, vision problems, and slurred speech. Symptoms that are uncommon include tinnitus, poor bladder control, chest pain, and scoliosis.

It occurs more often in females than males. Scientists once believed that Chiari Malformations occurred in only 1 in every 1000 births, but the increased use of diagnostic imaging techniques such as CT scans and MRIs suggests that the condition may be much more common. Most defects develop during fetal development due to genetic mutations or a maternal diet that lacked certain nutrients....
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