Chiari Malformation

Chiari malformations (CMs) are structural defects in the cerebellum. The cerebellum is the part of the brain that controls balance. With CM, brain tissue extends into the spinal canal. It can happen when part of the skull is too small, which pushes the brain tissue down. There are several types of CM. One type often happens in children who have neural tube defects. Some types cause no symptoms and don't need treatment. If you have symptoms, they may include

  • Neck pain
  • Balance problems
  • Numbness or other abnormal feelings in the arms or legs
  • Dizziness
  • Vision problems
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Poor hand coordination

Doctors diagnose CM using imaging tests. Medicines may ease some symptoms, such as pain. Surgery is the only treatment available to correct or stop the progression of nerve damage.

NIH: National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke

Different Conditions


Structural developmental anomalies of the nervous system

A condition caused by failure of the brain and spinal cord to correctly develop during the antenatal period. This condition is characterized by extension of both cerebellar and brain stem tissue into the foramen magnum. This condition may present with partial or complete absence of the cerebellar vermis, myelomeningocele, neck pain, balance problems, muscle weakness, limb numbness, dizziness, vision problems, difficulty swallowing, ringing in the ears, hearing loss, vomiting, insomnia, depression, or impairment of motor skills.

Organ Affected

Entire nervous system (body structure)|Structure of nervous system (body structure)

Also Known As

  • Arnold-Chiari obstruction type II
  • Chiari malformation type II
  • Related ICD 10 COde
    ICD 10 Code Q07.0

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