Chiari Online Support Group

Two quick questions - reflexes and MRI

Hi,

  1. which is more likely to be a symptom of chiari - hyporeflexia or hyperreflexia?

and for my friend 2) if someone has chiari would it show on a neck/cervical MRI?

Thanks!

I have more of hyporeflexia, when regarding my personal reflexes.

Also, for me, my herniation shows on my neck MRI when I look at it, but a brain MRI is much more effective. These are just my personal experiences, it may be different for others because chiari is so complex when just referring to the symptoms alone!

Hyperreflexia is an upper motor neuron finding(meaning it is what you should see with reflex changes due to Chiari).

Because a Chiari is an abnormality of the craniovertebral junction(bottom of brain, top of cervical spine), both a head and cervical spine MRI should show the Chiari. In either case, it is important to make sure the reading radiologist knows to check for Chiari(there are many stories of Chiaris being missed, often due to it being at the edge of the images and the radiologist simply didn’t look there).

Thank you for your responses. My last MRI (a year and a half ago) showed an incidental finding of “borderline tonsillar ectopia stable compared to previous MRI.” Strange is that neither of my prior 3-4 MRI’s mentioned this. My MRI’s have been because of vertigo, difficulty swallowing and some unexplainable neurological problems, all chiari symptoms yet no doctor has ever mentioned chiari or picked up on the “incidental” finding. I’ve been told my problem is due to migraine, anxiety, I dunno, and the latest, a virus. I also have a swollen optical nerve and a “bad neck.” Because the hyperreflexia was no worse at 6 month intervals the neurologist dismissed me. Whether or not chiari is my problem I don’t know. I just wish I could find a doctor who would be willing to look into this and either rule it out for sure or say yes, I have it and it’s the cause of my problems. If it’s not chiari I need to know what it is, this is so frustrating and affecting my quality of life. I’m so scared of what they may be missing.