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At Boston Children’s Hospital, we have already helped many infants, children and adolescents who have been diagnosed with a Chiari malformation, an abnormality in the meeting of the brain and the spinal cord at the base of the child’s skull.
There are four types of Chiari malformation. Type I is by far the most common form of the condition in children, while type II is typically only seen in children with spina bifida. The other types of Chiari malformation are extremely rare.
For the purposes of this webpage, the information you will read below focuses only on type I and type II Chiari malformation.
Here are some of the basics about Chiari malformation:
How Boston Children’s approaches Chiari malformation
Since a child with a type I Chiari malformation may not have symptoms, the safest approach is to leave it untreated and perform a follow-up evaluation by MRI and examination if necessary. However, for symptomatic patients, or those who have developed an accumulation of fluid in the spinal cord, we typically recommend surgical treatment.
Chiari malformation: Reviewed by Benjamin C. Warf, MD
© Children’s Hospital Boston; posted in 2012
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