Hydrocephalus in Dandy-Walker malformation

Childs Nerv Syst. 2011 Oct;27(10):1665-81. doi: 10.1007/s00381-011-1544-4. Epub 2011 Sep 17.


Introduction: Even if the first description of Dandy-Walker dates back 1887, difficulty in the establishment of correct diagnosis, especially concerning differential diagnosis with other types of posterior fossa CSF collection, still persists. Further confusion is added by the inclusion, in some classification, of different malformations with different prognosis and therapeutic strategy under the same label of "Dandy-Walker".

Methods: An extensive literature review concerning embryologic, etiologic, pathogenetic, clinical and neuroradiological aspects has been performed. Therapeutic options, prognosis and intellectual outcome are also reviewed.

Conclusion: The correct interpretation of the modern neuroradiologic techniques, including CSF flow MR imaging, may help in identifying a "real" Dandy-Walker malformation. Among therapeutical strategies, single shunting (ventriculo-peritoneal or cyst-peritoneal shunts) appears effective in the control of both ventricle and cyst size. Endoscopic third ventriculostomy may be considered an acceptable alternative, especially in older children, with the aim to reduce the shunt-related problems. Prognosis and intellectual outcome mostly depend on the presence of associated malformations, the degree of vermian malformation and the adequate control of hydrocephalus.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cranial Fossa, Posterior / pathology
  • Cranial Fossa, Posterior / surgery
  • Dandy-Walker Syndrome / complications*
  • Dandy-Walker Syndrome / diagnosis
  • Dandy-Walker Syndrome / embryology
  • Dandy-Walker Syndrome / surgery
  • Endoscopy / methods
  • Humans
  • Hydrocephalus / diagnosis
  • Hydrocephalus / embryology
  • Hydrocephalus / etiology*
  • Hydrocephalus / pathology
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Ventriculostomy / methods