Jefferson University Hospitals

Chiari Malformation

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Chiari Malformation

Headaches, dizziness, difficulty swallowing, issues with hand coordination and speech problems are just a few of the symptoms that may occur with Chiari malformation. An irregularity in the area of the brain that is responsible for balance, Chiari malformations occur when the skull is unusually small and forces the cerebellum into the base of the skull and towards the upper spinal canal.

This condition may be caused by pregnancy, injury or exposure to toxic substances. The Jefferson Health Hospital for Neuroscience has a well-staffed Neuroscience Intensive Care Unit available for this type of brain disorder. Until recently Chiari malformation was considered uncommon, but increased MRI technology has confirmed more cases. Women are more likely than men to develop this condition.

Due to the common symptoms associated with this condition, it is best to seek the expert care of a Jefferson Health neurologist for proper diagnosis.

Types of Chiari Malformation

  • Type I – most common form, this type may not show symptoms until early adulthood
  • Type II – considered a congenital malformation and can be detected during pregnancy or at birth
  • Type III – the most severe form, it can be detected during pregnancy or at birth and can cause neurological problems

Make an Appointment

Call 1-800-JEFF-NOW (1-800-533-3669) to make an appointment with a Jefferson Health specialist.