Dandy-Walker variant

Dr Ayush Goel and Radswiki et al.

Dandy-Walker variant (DWv) is a less severe posterior fossa anomaly than the classic Dandy-Walker malformation (DWM) and is considered being on the lesser end of the disease spectrum in the Dandy-Walker continuum.

This term was created to include those malformations that do not meet the criteria for Dandy-Walker malformation, however, some authors recommend to avoid it as there is a lack of specificity that may create some confusion. Instead, a more detailed anatomic description is recommended 4.

Please refer to isolated inferior vermian hypoplasia for a broad discussion in this defined entity.

There is usually partial vermian hypoplasia with partial obstruction to the fourth ventricle, but without enlargement of the posterior fossa.

  • the diagnosis of a Dandy-Walker variant can not be made definitely until the 18th week of gestation as the inferior vermis does not form till then
  • may show a connection between the cisterna magna and fourth ventricle
  • the fourth ventricle is large but less dilated and better formed than the classic Dandy-Walker malformation 1
  • the cerebellar hemispheres are hypoplastic but there is less severe hypoplasia of the inferior vermis

On antenatal ultrasound consider:

  • communication between the fourth ventricle and the cisterna magna can be a normal finding up to ~18 weeks of gestation
  • incorrect angulation of the scan may make the posterior fossa larger than usual
Malformations of the central nervous system

Article information

rID: 14701
Section: Syndromes
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Dandy-Walker variant
  • Dandy Walker variant (DWV)
  • DWV
  • Dandy Walker variant

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Cases and figures

  • Case 1
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  • Case 2: with an added cystic hygroma
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  • Case 3
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  • Case 4
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  • Case 5
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  • Case 6
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  • Case 7
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  • Case 8
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