Your browser does not support javascript:   Search for gard hereSearch for news-and-events here.

Diseases

Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD)

Print friendly version

Chiari malformation

*

* Not a rare disease

Other Names for this Disease

  • Arnold Chiari malformation
  • Arnold-Chiari malformations
See Disclaimer regarding information on this site. Some links on this page may take you to organizations outside of the National Institutes of Health.

Overview

Chiari malformations are structural defects in the cerebellum, the part of the brain that controls balance. When the indented bony space at the lower rear of the skull is smaller than normal, the cerebellum and brainstem can be pushed downward. The resulting pressure on the cerebellum can block the flow of cerebrospinal fluid (the liquid that surrounds and protects the brain and spinal cord) and can cause a range of symptoms including dizziness, muscle weakness, numbness, vision problems, headache, and problems with balance and coordination. Treatment may require surgery. Many patients with the more severe types of Chiari malformations who undergo surgery see a reduction in their symptoms and/or prolonged periods of relative stability, however paralysis is generally permanent despite surgery.

There are four types of Chiari malformations. The types tend to correspond with the degree of severity, with type 1 being the most common and least severe. Some people with type 1 have no symptoms and do not require treatment.

Chiari malformation type 1
Chiari malformation type 2
Chiari malformation type 3
Chiari malformation type 4

Last updated: 4/22/2013

References

  1. NINDS Chiari Malformation Information Page. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS). 2007; http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/chiari/chiari.htm. Accessed 4/6/2009.
Your Questions Answered
by the Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center

1 question(s) from the public on Chiari malformation have been answered. See questions and answers. You can also submit a new question.

Basic Information

In Depth Information

  • Online Mendelian Inheritance in Man (OMIM) is a catalog of human genes and genetic disorders. Each entry has a summary of related medical articles. It is meant for health care professionals and researchers. OMIM is maintained by Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. 
  • PubMed is a searchable database of medical literature and lists journal articles that discuss Chiari malformation. Click on the link to view a sample search on this topic.
Other Names for this Disease
  • Arnold Chiari malformation
  • Arnold-Chiari malformations
See Disclaimer regarding information on this site. Some links on this page may take you to organizations outside of the National Institutes of Health.