Minimal Cerebellar Ectopia?

I found out I had an arachnoid cyst in 2005 so I have had regular MRI's. In my latest MRI he/she stated "minimal cerebellar ectopia." No other radiologist report has stated anything about cerebellar ectopia, and I don't know if "minimal" means substantial enough to mention and cause problems, or if this radiologist regularly puts in the reports whether the cerebellum is in the right place or not, and "minimal" means not an issue.

Anyways, I have several of the Chiari symptoms for years and years now, and the lady who runs thinks that most people who have large arachnoid cysts (like me) eventually get Chiari, so as you can imagine, I'm fairly confused and slightly concerned. I included MRI pics (in my profile as well), and can post more angles if someone wants to jump in and help. When I search images of Chiari malformation, there is a large variance in how bad the herniation is, so I don't know what to make of my images. I also have a fairly big occipital protuberance, I'm not sure if that's relevant.

I Been feeling sick for a long time, had surgery to remove the cyst, and still feeling like junk, so I'm just like, turning over rocks to see if I can rule things out and find a way to feel better.

Thanks in advance.

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Hi! Thanks for the input and welcoming. Yes, I did get a hardcopy of the report. This latest MRI I got was actually in preparation for surgery for the arachnoid cyst (which was up in the middle part of the brain), and that is what said "minimal cerebellar ectopia." It's unfortunate the radiologist didn't give a mm amount and just said "minimal." I haven't had a chance to talk to a neurologist/neurosurgeon about it yet. I have a 3 month follow up with him in early/mid august, so now I'm def going to ask him about it. Thanks to your kind input, at least I know it would be worth some more research and will be prepared when I see the doc. Just having a diagnosis and reason for my symptoms would take such a load off and help so much.

Is this something that is frequently missed on a MRI? I have been having MRI's every couple years (for headaches and nausea) since 2005 and 2014 is the first time the radiologist report mentioned "cerebellar ectopia." I'm thinking I should go back and look at old MRI's and see if the crowding got progressively worse.

This one is from 2006 MRI. The one's in my profile and initial post are from 2014

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I found another angle pic that I think shows the most pronounced herniation (I think, I'm just guessing.) I'm still on the fence on whether to pursue this. I have a feeling the word "minimal" in the radiologist report is not going to motivate the GP to take it seriously.

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Geese, minimal herniation does not mean minimal symptoms. A 1mm herniation, or even no herniation with large thick cerebellar tonsills can cause severe Chiari symptoms. How long ago did you have the cyst removed? Wondering if the length of herniation has changed since it was removed. I would suggest finding a true Chiari specialist to be evaluated for not only for the herniation but the other diagnosis that can tag along CM, like Ehlers Danlos syndrome and cranio cervical instability, and dysautonomia. Sorry you are feeling so awful but turning over the stones is smart!


Thanks for the response. Thick cerebellar tonsils, that makes sense, mine look kind of thick, I'm not sure though. This is all new to me, I'm trying to get acquainted with the anatomy in that area of the brain. I have done tons of research on brain malformations for the cyst and Cerebro-spinal fluid flow so I understand how bad pressure or blockage in the brain can be, even if it's a very small area.

Cyst was removed May 12th. I have another MRI scheduled early/mid august. It was a 4cm cyst so removing it might change the CSF pressure dynamics in my brain and might change the cerebellum herniation, I was thinking that as well.

Either way I was emailing with the Chiari Institute in Long Island, New York so it seems they take my insurance and I might get checked fairly soon.

That’s a great place to go!