Management of Chiari Malformation in Children

By definition, Chiari Type 1 Malformation is considered the same entity in both children and adults. However, the distinct features present in children including their developing nervous system, blossoming verbal skills and ongoing skeletal growth present a unique situation compared to adults.

This can culminate in a specific set of pathologic presentations isolated to children and should be taken into account during the operative and non operative management strategies used to treat this condition. Common examples include progressive scoliosis, abnormal cyring and feeding patterns and challenges in identifying mild neurologic deficits.

Additionally, many chiari malformations are being identified incidentally during the evaluation of other medical diagnosis including autism presenting a particular challenge in assessing for links between possible comorbid conditions.

During this lecture specific pediatric cases of chiari malformation and the nuances related to the treatment of Chiari in infants, toddlers and adolescents is reviewed as well as the unique challenges of evaluating patients with comorbid conditions such as autism and developmental delay.