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Dandy-Walker complex

Other Names for this Disease
  • Dandy-Walker syndrome or malformation (type of DW complex)
  • Dandy-Walker variant (type of DW complex)
  • DW complex
  • Mega cisterna magna (type of DW complex)
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Dandy-Walker complex is a congenital brain malformation involving the cerebellum (an area at the back of the brain that controls movement) and the fluid-filled spaces around it. This condition is characterized by an enlargement of the fourth ventricle (a small channel that allows fluid to flow freely between the upper and lower areas of the brain and spinal cord), a partial or complete absence of the cerebellar vermis (the area between the two cerebellar hemispheres), and cyst formation near the internal base of the skull.[1][2] Dandy-Walker complex represents a continuum of developmental abnormalities which includes Dandy-Walker variant, Dandy-Walker malformation, and mega cisterna magna.[2] This condition may present with an increase in fluid and pressure around the skull (hydrocephalus). It may also be associated with developmental delay, and malformations of the heart, face, limbs, fingers and toes.[1][3] 
Last updated: 1/7/2013


  1. NINDS Dandy-Walker Syndrome Information Page. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS). December 16, 2011; Accessed 1/7/2013.
  2. Incesu L, Khosla A. Imaging in Dandy-Walker Malformation . Medscape Reference. May 2011; Accessed 1/7/2013.
  3. Sasaki-Adams D, Elbabaa SK, Jewells V, Carter L, Campbell JW, Ritter AM. The Dandy-Walker variant: a case series of 24 pediatric patients and evaluation of associated anomalies, incidence of hydrocephalus, and developmental outcomes. J Neurosurg Pediatr. 2008; Accessed 1/7/2013.
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  • The Online Mendelian Inheritance in Man (OMIM) is an catalog of human genes and genetic disorders. Each entry has a summary of related medical articles. It is meant for health care professionals and researchers. OMIM is maintained by Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. 
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  • PubMed is a searchable database of medical literature and lists journal articles that discuss Dandy-Walker complex. Click on the link to view a sample search on this topic.