Chiari III malformation: a comprehensive review of this enigmatic anomaly

Ivashchuk, G., Loukas, M., Blount, J.P., Tubbs, R.S., Oakes, W.J., 2015. Chiari III malformation: a comprehensive review of this enigmatic anomaly. Childs Nerv Syst 31, 2035–2040. doi:10.1007/s00381-015-2853-9

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION:

Chiari III is one of the rarest of the Chiari malformations and is characterized by a high cervical or low occipital encephalocele and osseous defect with or without spinal cord involvement and may include many of the anatomical characteristics seen in the Chiari II malformation. Herein, we provide a comprehensive review of this rare anomaly as well as a translation of Chiari's original description.

METHODS:

We review all reported cases of Chiari III malformation found in the extant literature.

CONCLUSIONS:

Out of 57 reported cases of Chiari III malformation, encephaloceles were in a high cervical/low occipital position in 23, 8 were in a high cervical position, 17 were in low occipital position, and the position in 9 cases was not reported. The pathogenesis of Chiari III malformation remains unclear. The majority of patients have concomitant hydrocephalus. Brain parts occurring in the sac from the most to least common include the following: cerebellum, occipital lobe, and parietal lobe. The severity of symptoms is correlated with the amount of brain structures within the encephalocele. Neurologic functional outcomes have been varied and depend on the neurological status of the patient before surgery.