What are the Causes of Chiari Malformation?

By  ,  Onlymyhealth editorial team
Oct 17, 2014
Quick Bites

  • Brain tissue extends to the spinal cord.
  • The skull is abnormally shaped.
  • The abnormal shape presses the brain down.
  • The condition is uncommon.

What is Chiari Malformation?

A condition in which the brain tissue extends to the spinal cord is known as chiari malformation. It occurs when part of you’re the skull is abnormally small or misshapen, pressing the brain downwards.

Chiari Malformation CausesThe condition is uncommon but with improved imaging tests have led to more frequent diagnoses.

What are the Symptoms of Chiari Malformation?

The condition is categorized into three types depending on the anatomy of the brain tissue which gets displaced into the spinal canal and whether developmental abnormalities of the brain or spine are present.

Many people who suffer from chiari malformation may not show any signs or symptoms and may not need a treatment. The disorder is only detected when they undergo some tests for unrelated disorders. But, depending on the type and severity of the condition it can cause a number of problems.
The more common types of Chiari malformation are:

  • Type I
  • Type II

Chiari Malformation Causes


Causes of Chiari Malformation

Chiari malformation type I takes place when the section of the skull containing a part of the brain is too small in size or is deformed. This could create pressure and crowd your brain. The lower part or tonsils or the cerebellum are displaced into the upper spinal canal.

Chiari malformation type II is almost always associated with a form of spina bifida called myelomeningocele.

Image courtesy: Getty Images

Read more articles on Chiari Malformation.

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