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Neurosurg Focus. 2011 Sep;31(3):E1. doi: 10.3171/2011.6.FOCUS11104.

Familial Chiari malformation: case series.

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Department of Neurosurgery, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, 02114, USA.


Chiari malformations (Types I-IV) are abnormalities of the posterior fossa that affect the cerebellum, brainstem, and the spinal cord with prevalence rates of 0.1%-0.5%. Case reports of familial aggregation of Chiari malformation, twin studies, cosegregation of Chiari malformation with known genetic conditions, and recent gene and genome-wide association studies provide strong evidence of the genetic underpinnings of familial Chiari malformation. The authors report on a series of 3 family pairs with Chiari malformation Type I: 2 mother-daughter pairs and 1 father-daughter pair. The specific genetic causes of familial Chiari malformation have yet to be fully elucidated. The authors review the literature and discuss several candidate genes. Recent advances in the understanding of the genetic influences and pathogenesis of familial Chiari malformation are expected to improve management of affected patients and monitoring of at-risk family members.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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