INTRODUCTION: We report about a spina bifida patient with myelomeningocele at the lumbar level L5, extensive Chiari malformation type II with vermal herniation reaching to C6 with downward pontine shift, and a severe hypoplastic cerebellum. Chromosomal diagnostic tests showed no abnormalities.
CASE REPORT: The infant experienced severe central apneas successfully treated with oxygen therapy and caffeine medication; functional motor level was established at L5 with sparse anal sphincter function.
DISCUSSION: After surgical intervention (myelomeningocele repair and ventriculoperitoneal shunt placement), these abnormalities significantly improved on radiological imaging; the preoperative hypoplastic, almost undetectable, cerebellum developed to a fair sized cerebellum. Apneas disappeared over time and the patient showed further developmental improvement. Herein, we illustrate and discuss the changes of the cerebellar volume before and after neurosurgical intervention.