Chiari malformation (disorder), Arnold-Chiari syndrome,Hydrosyringomyelia, Syringomyelia-anaesthesia syndrome, Morvan's disease, Syringomyelia (disorder), Syringomyelia-anesthesia syndrome, Myelosyringosis,Chiari malformation#Arnold-Chiari syndrome,

A Chiari malformation, previously called an Arnold-Chiari malformation, is where the lower part of the brain pushes down into the spinal canal.

There are four main types, but type 1, called Chiari I, is the most common.

In someone with Chiari I, the lowest part of the back of the brain extends into the spinal canal. This can put pressure on the brainstem, spinal cord, and obstruct the flow of fluid.

Are Chiari I malformations serious?

The severity of Chiari malformations can vary from person to person, but generally:

  • Chiari I malformations aren't considered life-threatening
  • some people experience painful headaches, movement problems and other unpleasant symptoms, but many people won't have any symptoms
  • there's a chance of developing syringomyelia (where a fluid-filled cavity called asyrinx develops in the spinal cord), which can damage the spinal cord if not treated promptly
  • surgery can usually stopthe symptoms getting worseand can sometimes improve them, although some problems may remain

Talk to your doctor about what the condition means, what the implications may be for your health and what treatment you may need.

Content supplied by the NHS Website

Medically Reviewed by a doctor on 12 Jul 2016