Background: Chiari Type I malformation (CM-I) is defined as the migration of cerebellar tonsils from the foramen magnum in the caudal direction and is characterized by the disproportion of the neural structures. The aim of this study was to investigate the brain volume differences between CM-I patients and normal population using a comparative volumetric analysis. Methods: 140 patients with CM-I and 140 age- and sex-matched healthy controls were included in this study. The magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) data of both groups were analyzed with an automated MRI brain morphometry system. Total intracranial, cerebrum, cerebellum, brainstem, cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), and lateral ventricle volumes as well as cerebrum and cerebellum gray/white matter (GM/WM) volumes were measured. Statistical analysis was performed. Results: Both total CSF and lateral ventricle volumes and volume percentages (Pct) were found significantly higher in CM-I patients compared to the control group. However, there were significant decreases in cerebrum and cerebellum volume Pct in CM-I patients. Although there were no significant differences in cerebrum WM volumes and volume Pct, cerebrum GM volume Pct were found to be significantly lower in CM-I patients. Conclusions: Revealing the increased CSF and lateral ventricle volume, and volume Pct supported concomitant ventricular enlargement and hydrocephalus in some CM-I patients. Decreased cerebrum GM volume Pct compared to the control group might be the underlying factor of some cortical dysfunctions in CM-I patients.
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