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Radiographics. 2015 Jan-Feb;35(1):200-20. doi: 10.1148/rg.351140038.

Congenital abnormalities of the posterior fossa.

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From the Section of Pediatric Neuroradiology, Division of Pediatric Radiology, Russell H. Morgan Department of Radiology and Radiological Science, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Charlotte R. Bloomberg Children's Center, Sheikh Zayed Tower, Room 4174, 1800 Orleans St, Baltimore, MD 21287-0842 (T.B., G.O., A.T., T.A.G.M.H., A.P.); and Department of Pediatric Neurology, University Children's Hospital, Zurich, Switzerland (E.B., A.P.).


The frequency and importance of the evaluation of the posterior fossa have increased significantly over the past 20 years owing to advances in neuroimaging. Nowadays, conventional and advanced neuroimaging techniques allow detailed evaluation of the complex anatomic structures within the posterior fossa. A wide spectrum of congenital abnormalities has been demonstrated, including malformations (anomalies due to an alteration of the primary developmental program caused by a genetic defect) and disruptions (anomalies due to the breakdown of a structure that had a normal developmental potential). Familiarity with the spectrum of congenital posterior fossa anomalies and their well-defined diagnostic criteria is crucial for optimal therapy, an accurate prognosis, and correct genetic counseling. The authors discuss the spectrum of posterior fossa malformations and disruptions, with emphasis on neuroimaging findings (including diagnostic criteria), neurologic presentation, systemic involvement, prognosis, and risk of recurrence.

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