A Successful Pregnancy Outcome after Surgical Decompression of Type I Arnold-Chiari Malformation


Type I Arnold-Chiari malformation (ACM) usually presents in adulthood and consists of a downward displacement of the cerebellar tonsils through the foramen magnum. A 25-year-old woman presented with a 5-month history of headache associated with blurred vision, tinnitus and sickness. Imaging recognised the need for surgical intervention, but whilst awaiting for surgery she fell pregnant. Considering the risks of neurological deterioration, the woman underwent surgical decompression of type I ACM at 15 weeks gestation. She subsequently presented with progressively worsening headaches during late pregnancy from 35 weeks. The obstetric plan was initially induction of labour at term but since the onset of worsening symptoms, this date was brought forward to 39 + 1 weeks gestation. She proceeded to have a normal delivery with no neonatal complications and an uneventful puerperium followed. Since the delivery, the patient reported fewer symptoms, showed no signs of neurological deficit and a repeat magnetic resonance imaging of the head showed good relief of neural compression. This case illustrates how judicious selection of the appropriate mode of delivery of women following surgically corrected ACM and a multidisciplinary approach is critical in the successful management of the antepartum period and labour.

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Ip, P. , Pankaja, S. and O’Mahony, F. (2015) A Successful Pregnancy Outcome after Surgical Decompression of Type I Arnold-Chiari Malformation. Open Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, 5, 44-48. doi: 10.4236/ojog.2015.51007.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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