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Giant occipital meningocele in an 8-year-old child with Dandy–Walker malformation

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The possibility of an association between Dandy–Walker malformation and occipital meningocele is well-known. However, just an overall number of about 40 cases have been previously reported. Giant occipital meningocele has been described only in three newborns. Incidence, pathology, clinical presentation, and proper management of this association are still poorly defined.

Report of the case

An 8-year-old boy with Dandy–Walker malformation and giant (25 cm in diameter) occipital meningocele is presented. This boy was born without any apparent occipital mass and harbored no other significant malformations including hydrocephalus. On admission, he was neurologically intact and the giant occipital mass presented partially calcified cyst walls. Treatment consisted of the excision of the occipital malformation, cranioplasty, and cysto-peritoneal shunt. Outcome was excellent.


To the best of our knowledge, among the few reported patients with Dandy–Walker malformation associated to occipital meningocele, this is the oldest one and the one with the largest occipital meningocele; he is unique with calcified walls of the occipital meningocele and the only one who survived the repair of the giant malformation. In Dandy–Walker malformation, occipital meningocele may develop and grow regardless of hydrocephalus. Giant size may be reached and the cyst may become calcified. Surgical repair may warrant favorable outcome.

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The authors wish to thank Father Hugo. Unfortunately, this world hasn't got enough men like him. He is a missionary doctor who takes care and looks after hundreds of children in Congo. When we think what he does every day, immediately, what we do becomes a drop in the ocean.

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The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

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Correspondence to Giuseppe Talamonti.

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Talamonti, G., Picano, M., Debernardi, A. et al. Giant occipital meningocele in an 8-year-old child with Dandy–Walker malformation. Childs Nerv Syst 27, 167–174 (2011).

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