Prevalence of Chiari I Malformation and Syringomyelia

Neurosurg Clin N Am. 2015 Oct;26(4):501-7. doi: 10.1016/ Epub 2015 Aug 4.


Chiari I malformation (CM) is a common neurosurgical diagnosis and spinal cord syrinx is frequently found in patients with CM. Asymptomatic CM is a common imaging finding. Symptomatic CM is less common. Variation in prevalence estimates may be attributed to differences in sensitivity of CM detection between studies as well as differences in the populations being analyzed. The prevalence of low tonsil position and CM on MRI is higher in children and young adults compared with older adults. Studies that include a large number of older adults find a lower prevalence compared with analyses of children.

Keywords: Chiari; Imaging; Incidence; Prevalence; Syrinx.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Arnold-Chiari Malformation / diagnosis
  • Arnold-Chiari Malformation / epidemiology*
  • Arnold-Chiari Malformation / surgery*
  • Decompression, Surgical / methods
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging* / methods
  • Prevalence
  • Spinal Cord / surgery*
  • Syringomyelia / diagnosis
  • Syringomyelia / epidemiology*