Various Chiari Tests

There are many related disorders that can go hand-in-hand with Chiari. There are also questions that you will undoubtedly have when you visit the neurosurgeon.

When you are diagnosed, these are things that you should expect to be discussed if you are seeing a true expert. You will want to discuss these to be sure they are confirmed or ruled out.


1. Measurement of herniation. Your doctor should tell you what it is but also explain that the measurement does not dictate the severity of your symptoms. They will also be aware that less then 5mm does not mean it isnt chiari. Neurological issues can still be as severe when less then 5mm. 

2. CSF cine flow test should be ordered but good flow doesnt always mean all is fine if you are still having concerns. Your doctor should then examine you for other things that could be causing issues as noted below.

3. Spinal MRIs- The spinal MRI should be a full spinal one and include the cervical, thoracic, and lumbar spine.

4. X-Ray- An X-Ray can be used on the neck in order to test for cervicalcranial instability. You might also have one on your hips. 

5. CT Scan- Typically, CT scans are not as conclusive for Chiari as MRIs. However, they might be able to show a herniation and later can be useful for determining if you have a leak or a pseudo tumor cerebri.

6. Reflexes- Having your reflexes tests can give the doctor an indication if you have any nerve damage or improper responses. 

7. Gag reflexes- In addition to your joint reflexes, you might also have your gag reflexes tested. Many people with Chiari have poor gag reflexes or be like me and not have any at all. 

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