Dandy-Walker syndrome revisited

Pediatr Neurosci. 1987;13(1):45-51. doi: 10.1159/000120300.


The Dandy-Walker syndrome is said to be associated with a high incidence of mental retardation and motor dysfunction leading some to suggest termination of the affected fetus in utero. Since this view seemed contrary to our experience, we reviewed 19 patients with the Dandy-Walker syndrome diagnosed from 1966 to 1983. Thirteen patients with Dandy-Walker syndrome were diagnosed before 6 months of age and followed for more than 2 years (mean: 10 years). In the absence of other associated major abnormalities, 7 of 8 (88%) are functioning well and have attended regular schools. Two of these seven have had special help with isolated learning problems. None of these patients have significant motor disability. One additional patient with normal intellectual and motor function died of acute shunt malfunction. In the remaining 4 patients with Dandy-Walker-associated abnormalities, 3 (75%) have severe intellectual retardation and spastic cerebral palsy. Five of six patients (83%) with Dandy-Walker syndrome diagnosed after 6 months of age are normal. The outcome of patients with Dandy-Walker syndrome appears far better than previously reported.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Cerebrospinal Fluid Shunts
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cranial Fossa, Posterior / diagnostic imaging
  • Dandy-Walker Syndrome / complications*
  • Dandy-Walker Syndrome / diagnosis
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Hydrocephalus / complications*
  • Hydrocephalus / etiology
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Intellectual Disability / etiology
  • Male
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed