Chiari Malformation Symptoms and Diagnosis

To help diagnose Chiari malformation, your doctor will:

  • Ask you about your symptoms and medical history.
  • Perform a thorough physical exam.
  • Order diagnostic tests.

Symptoms of Chiari Malformation

Chiari malformation symptoms may include:

  • Severe head and neck pain
  • Loss of sensation to pain and temperature
  • Loss of muscle strength in hands and arms
  • Spasticity, dizziness, or balance problems
  • Double or blurred vision
  • Hypersensitivity to bright lights

Tests for Diagnosing Chiari Malformation

A range of tests can help diagnose and determine the severity of Chiari malformation.

Although some people have no symptoms, others have symptoms that are not specific to Chiari malformation. Therefore, your doctor will conduct a careful exam and order imaging tests to rule out other conditions that may be causing your symptoms.

A diagnosis of Chiari malformation must be one of exclusion.

Some of the tests to help confirm this diagnosis include:

  • Brainstem auditory evoked potential (BAEP)
  • CT and MRI scans
  • Myelogram
  • Somatosensory evoked potentials (SSEP)
CONDITIONS WE TREAT

View all conditions >

 

 
 

CONTACT US

How can we help you?

Schedule an
appointment >

Ask a question >

Request our expert
opinion >

 

Phone Numbers:

1-877-986-9862
(within the U.S.)

01-877-320-8762
(International)

 
for_pediatric_patients button 3-13-2013.png
 
MEET MARYMARTHA FORD

An avid dancer and singer, MaryMartha faced a lifetime of symptoms caused by Chiari malformation. She found hope – and relief – at UPMC.

Read more >

 
 

 

 

 

©  UPMC | Affiliated with the University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences
Supplemental content provided by A.D.A.M. Health Solutions. All rights reserved.

For help in finding a doctor or health service that suits your needs, call the UPMC Referral Service at 412-647-UPMC (8762) or 1-800-533-UPMC (8762). Select option 1.

UPMC is an equal opportunity employer. UPMC policy prohibits discrimination or harassment on the basis of race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, age, sex, genetics, sexual orientation, marital status, familial status, disability, veteran status, or any other legally protected group status. Further, UPMC will continue to support and promote equal employment opportunity, human dignity, and racial, ethnic, and cultural diversity. This policy applies to admissions, employment, and access to and treatment in UPMC programs and activities. This commitment is made by UPMC in accordance with federal, state, and/or local laws and regulations.

Medical information made available on UPMC.com is not intended to be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. You should not rely entirely on this information for your health care needs. Ask your own doctor or health care provider any specific medical questions that you have. Further, UPMC.com is not a tool to be used in the case of an emergency. If an emergency arises, you should seek appropriate emergency medical services.

For UPMC Mercy Patients: As a Catholic hospital, UPMC Mercy abides by the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services, as determined by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. As such, UPMC Mercy neither endorses nor provides medical practices and/or procedures that contradict the moral teachings of the Roman Catholic Church.

© UPMC
Pittsburgh, PA, USA UPMC.com