Sudden onset of Chiari malformation type 1 in a young child after trauma

Alfio Spina, Nicola Boari, Filippo Gagliardi, Carmine A. Donofrio, Pietro Mortini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: Chiari 1 malformation is a rare craniovertebral junction malformation accounting up to 1 case in every 1000 newborns per year. It is characterized by herniation of cerebellar tonsils below the foramen magnum sometimes with syringomyelia. Usually, patients have a long history of slowly progressive neurological symptoms. Uncommonly, Chiari 1 malformation could present with a sudden onset, also after trauma. Few cases are reported about young children. Methods: The authors report a case of a 6-month child with symptoms at onset after a mild trauma. The pertinent literature is reviewed. Conclusions: Symptoms of Chiari 1 malformation are usually slowly progressive. Few cases have been reported of the sudden onset of symptoms, some of these after trauma. In young children, the clinical setting could be insidious and potentially lethal. A sudden onset of Chiari 1 malformation must be considered as a consequence of trauma, usually after performing a brain MRI. Management of these cases is still controversial, and surgery may be indicated in managing symptoms; however, it seems to not affect clinical outcome.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1589-1594
Number of pages6
JournalChild's Nervous System
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - May 10 2015


  • Cerebellar hemorrhage
  • Chiari malformation
  • Pediatric trauma
  • Posterior cranial fossa

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Clinical Neurology


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