Congenital basis of posterior fossa anomalies

Claudia Cotes, Eliana Bonfante, Jillian Lazor, Siddharth Jadhav, Maria Caldas, Leonard Swischuk, Roy Riascos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


The classification of posterior fossa congenital anomalies has been a controversial topic. Advances in genetics and imaging have allowed a better understanding of the embryologic development of these abnormalities. A new classification schema correlates the embryologic, morphologic, and genetic bases of these anomalies in order to better distinguish and describe them. Although they provide a better understanding of the clinical aspects and genetics of these disorders, it is crucial for the radiologist to be able to diagnose the congenital posterior fossa anomalies based on their morphology, since neuroimaging is usually the initial step when these disorders are suspected. We divide the most common posterior fossa congenital anomalies into two groups: 1) hindbrain malformations, including diseases with cerebellar or vermian agenesis, aplasia or hypoplasia and cystic posterior fossa anomalies; and 2) cranial vault malformations. In addition, we will review the embryologic development of the posterior fossa and, from the perspective of embryonic development, will describe the imaging appearance of congenital posterior fossa anomalies. Knowledge of the developmental bases of these malformations facilitates detection of the morphological changes identified on imaging, allowing accurate differentiation and diagnosis of congenital posterior fossa anomalies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)238-253
Number of pages16
JournalNeuroradiology Journal
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Congenital posterior fossa abnormalities
  • Development posterior fossa
  • Embryology posterior fossa
  • Imaging posterior fossa
  • Posterior fossa anomalies

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Clinical Neurology


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