Diagnosis

To diagnose your condition, your doctor will review your medical history and symptoms and conduct a physical examination.

Your doctor will also order imaging tests to determine the cause of your condition and diagnose your condition. Tests may include:

  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). An MRI is often used to diagnose Chiari malformation. An MRI uses powerful radio waves and magnets to create a detailed view of your body.

    This safe, painless test produces detailed 3-D images of structural abnormalities in your brain that may be contributing to your symptoms. It can also provide images of your cerebellum and determine whether it extends into your spinal canal.

    An MRI can be repeated over time, and it can be used to monitor the progression of your disorder.

  • Computerized tomography (CT) scan. Your doctor may recommend other imaging techniques such as a CT scan.

    A CT scan uses X-rays to obtain cross-sectional images of your body. A CT scan can help to reveal brain tumors, brain damage, bone and blood vessel abnormalities, and other conditions.

Sept. 29, 2016
References
  1. Chiari malformation fact sheet. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/chiari/detail_chiari.htm. Accessed July 19, 2016.
  2. Tubbs RS, et al. The Chiari malformations and syringohydromyelia. In: Principles of Neurological Surgery. 3rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2012. http://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed July 19, 2016.
  3. Khoury C. Chiari malformations. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed July 19, 2016.
  4. Ropper AH, et al. Developmental diseases of the nervous system. In: Adams & Victor's Principles of Neurology. 10th ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2014. http://www.accessmedicine.com. Accessed July 19, 2016.
  5. Chiari malformation. American Association of Neurological Surgeons. http://www.aans.org/Patient%20Information/Conditions%20and%20Treatments/Chiari%20Malformation.aspx. Accessed July 19, 2016.
  6. Tubbs RS, et al. Chiari malformations. In: Youmans Neurological Surgery. 6th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2011. http://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed July 19, 2016.
  7. Heiss J, et al. Management of Chiari malformations and syringomyelia. In: Schmidek and Sweet's Operative Neurosurgical Techniques. 6th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2012. http://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed July 19, 2016.
  8. Riggin EA. Decision Support System. Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. May 10, 2016.