Long-term results after posterior fossa decompression in syringomyelia with adult Chiari Type I malformation

Department of Neurosurgery, Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg, Halle (Saale), Germany
Journal of neurosurgery. Spine (Impact Factor: 2.38). 08/2012; 17(5). DOI: 10.3171/2012.7.SPINE12272
Source: PubMed


There is little information about the long-term effectiveness and complications following decompressive surgery for syringomyelia related to Chiari malformation Type I (CM-I).

Examining long-term clinical and radiological follow-up, the authors studied a mixed retrospective and prospective single-institution cohort of 109 consecutive surgically treated adult patients with syringomyelia and CM-I. All patients underwent a standardized surgical protocol: decompression of the craniocervical junction, arachnoid exploration, and shrinkage of the cerebellar tonsils. Factors predicting outcome were investigated.

The retrospective arm consisted of 41 cases treated between 1990 and 1994, and the prospective arm comprised 68 patients treated between 1994 and 2001. The mean overall age was 45.9 years, and 58.8% of the population was female. The median follow-up period was 12.7 years. The most frequent initial symptoms were pain and sensory and gait disturbances. There was no perioperative death or neurological deterioration. The comprehensive perioperative complication rate was approximately 11%, with 3 cases (2.7%) of CSF leakage. Regression analysis showed that the best combination of clinical and radiological outcome predictors was age and duration of symptoms. Clinical follow-up confirmed surgical result stability with clinical improvement of greater than 90% of the spinal and cranial manifestations over a long-term period. Two patients had radiological recurrences of syringomyelia without clinical signs 85 and 124 months after surgery.

Certain clinical predictors of poor clinical and radiological prognosis were identified-namely, age at time of surgery and symptom duration. The results of the study provide additional long-term data that support the effectiveness and safety of relieving CSF block at the craniocervical junction in CM-I-related syringomyelia.

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    ABSTRACT: Background: Chiari type I malformation is a congenital disorder that is characterized by the caudal extension of the cerebellar tonsils through the foramen magnum into the cervical canal and by a reduced posterior fossa volume. Methods: We report our surgical technique of reposition, reduction, or resection of the cerebellar tonsils for the management of Chiari I malformation. The procedure was performed in 22 adult patients, in three different centers, with a mean age of 37 years. Clinical complaints included headaches, nuchalgia, vertigo, and upper-limb weakness or numbness. Seven patients had cervical syringomyelia. Symptoms developed within a mean time of 36 months (range, 12-70 months). Results: The cerebellar tonsils were exposed through a dura mater-arachnoid incision at the atlanto-occipital space after a 0.5-cm rimming craniectomy of the occipital bone in all patients. In seven patients the tonsils were resected, in other seven were reduced by subpial coagulation and aspiration, and in the remaining eight patients the tonsils were repositioned after coagulating their surfaces. Three patients had also a posterior fossa arachnoid cyst that was fenestrated in two of them. All patients improved postoperatively. Syringomyelia was reduced in five of seven patients. The mean length of the follow-up period was 12 months. Conclusions: Selective reposition, reduction, or resection of herniated cerebellar tonsils may improve symptoms in adult patients with Chiari I malformation.
    Acta Neurochirurgica 05/2013; 155(7). DOI:10.1007/s00701-013-1749-2 · 1.77 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Study Design Systematic review. Study Rationale One of the most consistent indications for a Chiari decompression is tonsillar descent meeting the radiographic criteria and an associated syrinx in a symptomatic patient. In counseling patients about surgery, it would be advantageous to have information regarding the expected outcome with regard to the syrinx and other possible treatments available if the result is suboptimal. Clinical Questions The clinical questions include: (1) What is the average rate of recurrent or residual syringomyelia following posterior fossa decompression as a result of Chiari malformation with associated syringomyelia? (2) What treatment methods have been reported in the literature for managing recurrent or residual syringomyelia after initial posterior fossa decompression? Materials and Methods Available search engines were utilized to identify publications dealing with recurrent or residual syrinx after Chiari decompression and/or management of the syrinx. Rates of residual or recurrent syrinx were extracted and management strategies were recorded. Overall strength of evidence was quantified. Results Of the 72 citations, 11 citations met inclusion criteria. Rates of recurrent/residual syringomyelia after decompression in adults range from 0 to 22% with an average of 6.7%. There were no studies that discussed specifically management of the remaining syrinx. Conclusion Rates of recurrent/residual syringomyelia after Chiari decompression in adults range from 0 to 22% (average 6.7%). Although no studies describing the optimal management of residual syrinx were found, there is general agreement that the aim of the initial surgery is to restore relatively unimpeded flow of cerebrospinal across the craniocervical junction. Large holocord syrinx may induce a component of spinal cord injury even with adequate decompression and reduction in the caliber of the syrinx, resulting in permanent symptoms of injury.
    10/2013; 4(2):116-125. DOI:10.1055/s-0033-1357362
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    ABSTRACT: Although various surgical approaches have been proposed for treating syringomyelia associated with Chiari type I malformation, a standard method has yet to be established. we prospectively investigated the results of our surgical method: foramen magnum decompression combined with C1 laminectomy and excision of the outer layer of the dura mater. Twenty patients underwent surgery between 2000 and 2010 at our hospital. After surgery, the size of the syrinx decreased in 11 patients (decreased group) but remained unchanged in nine patients (unchanged group). The following parameters were compared: age at the time of surgery, duration of morbidity, improvement of preoperative symptoms, morphological type and length of the syrinx, presence or absence of scoliosis, cervical alignment, basal and clivo-axial angles, and postoperative subarachnoid space at the foramen magnum level. Preoperative symptoms improved in all patients in the decreased group but in only one patient in the unchanged group. The average duration of morbidity was significantly shorter in the decreased group. Morphological examination revealed that the size of all central-type syrinxes decreased after surgery, whereas in all cases of deviated-type syrinx, size was unchanged. The average length of preoperative syrinx was significantly shorter in the decreased group. The postoperative subarachnoid space at the foramen magnum was enlarged in the entire decreased group, whereas residual narrowing of the space was observed in 44 % of patients in the unchanged group. No significant intergroup differences were observed in the other factors. In patients with syringomyelia, a longer and deviated type of syrinx, a longer duration of morbidity, and postoperative residual narrowing of the subarachnoid space are associated with a poor prognosis after the surgical procedure. The pathogenesis of syringomyelia is inconsistent, and the choice of surgical technique for each pathological condition is important.
    Journal of Orthopaedic Science 03/2014; 19(3). DOI:10.1007/s00776-014-0555-x · 0.94 Impact Factor
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