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Year : 2022  |  Volume : 17  |  Issue : 5  |  Page : 67-76

Management of Chiari 1 malformation and hydrocephalus in syndromic craniosynostosis: A review

Department of Neurosurgery, Alder Hey Children’s NHS Foundation Trust, Liverpool, United Kingdom

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Ajay Kumar Sinha
Department of Neurosurgery, Alder Hey Childrens’ NHS Foundation Trust, Liverpool L14 5AB
United Kingdom
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jpn.JPN_49_22

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Chiari 1 malformation and hydrocephalus are frequent findings in multi-suture and syndromic craniosynostosis patients. In this article, we review the pathogenesis, clinical significance, and management options for these conditions with comments from our own experience. The role of premature fusion of skull base sutures leading to a crowded posterior fossa and venous outflow obstruction resulting in impaired cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) absorption is highlighted. Management options are unique in this group and we advocate early (prior to 6 months of age) posterior vault expansion by distraction osteogenesis (DO) in the management of Chiari 1 malformation. Foramen magnum decompression is recommended for a select few either as part of posterior vault expansion or at a later date. Treatment of hydrocephalus, utilizing a ventriculoperitoneal (VP) shunt with preferably a programmable high-pressure valve and anti-siphon device, is required in a small percentage of cases despite successful posterior vault expansion. Patients need to be carefully selected and managed as hydrocephalus often serves as an important cranial vault growth stimulus. Further, they require careful monitoring and thought to ensure the management of these conditions and the timing of any intervention provides the optimal long-term outcome for the patient.


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