The diagnosis of Chiari type I malformation (CIM) is more and more frequent in clinical practice due to the wide diffusion of magnetic resonance imaging. In many cases, such a diagnosis is made incidentally in asymptomatic patients, as including children investigated for different reasons such as mental development delay or sequelae of brain injury. The large number of affected patients, the presence of asymptomatic subjects, the uncertainties surrounding the pathogenesis of the malformation, and the different options for its surgical treatment make the management of CIM particularly controversial.This paper reports on the state of the art and the recent achievements about CIM aiming at providing further information especially on the pathogenesis, the natural history, and the management of the malformation, which are the most controversial aspects. A historial review introduces and explains the current classification. Furthermore, the main clinical, radiological, and neurophysiological findings of CIM are described to complete the picture of this heterogeneous and complex disease.
- Chiari malformation
- Communicating hydrocephalus