Translated title of the contribution: Cystic malformation of the posterior fossa of the skull

P. Tortori Donati, M. P. Fondelli, A. Rossi, A. Cama, S. Carini, G. L. Piatelli, M. Ravegnani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Cystic malformation of the posterior fossa are constituted by the anomaly designated by Barkovich et al as Dandy-Walker complex and by the arachnoid cysts. The Dandy-Walker complex encompasses the conditions called Dandy-Walker malformation (DWM), Dandy-Walker variant (DWV) and mega cisterna magna (MCM) that are believed to represent a continuum of developmental anomalies. The cerebellar vermis, the tela choroidea, posterior cerebellar subarachnoid spaces and dural structures are all variably involved in these malformation. The typical DWM is characterized by a complete or partial agenesis of the vermis, cystic dilatation of the fourth ventricle and an enlarged posterior fossa with upward displacement of the lateral sinuses, tentorium and torcular. All these features can be partly found also in DWV, however in DWV there is a less severe superoanterior rotation of the superior vermis. The MCM is an abnormal dilatation of the cisterna magna. It freely communicates with subarachnoid spaces and ventricular system and originate from the tela choroidea. Even though extremely difficult, MCM should be differentiated from a posterior fossa arachnoid cyst that is a cystic lesion developing within the subarachnoid space. More commonly than MCM, arachnoid cysts may cause a mass effect on cerebellar structures and sometimes an obstructive hydrocephalus. For this reason surgery can be undertaken in case of subarachnoid cysts.

Translated title of the contributionCystic malformation of the posterior fossa of the skull
Original languageItalian
Pages (from-to)199-207
Number of pages9
JournalRivista di Neuroradiologia
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1994

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology

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