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: 2.36). 08/2012; DOI: 10.3171/2012.7.SPINE12272
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Object There is little information about the long-term effectiveness and complications following decompressive surgery for syringomyelia related to Chiari malformation Type I (CM-I). Methods 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. Results 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. Conclusions 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: OBJECT Chiari malformation Type I (CM-I) is a hindbrain disorder associated with elongation of the cerebellar tonsils, which descend below the foramen magnum into the spinal canal. It occurs in children and adults. Clinical symptoms mainly develop from alterations in CSF flow at the foramen magnum and the common subsequent development of syringomyelia. METHODS The authors reviewed English-language reports of pediatric, adult, and combined (adult and pediatric) surgical series of patients with CM-I published from 1965 through August 31, 2013, to investigate the following: 1) geographical distribution of reports; 2) demographics of patients; 3) follow-up lengths; 4) study durations; 5) spectrum and frequency of surgical techniques; 6) outcomes for neurological status, syrinx, and headache; 7) frequency and scope of complications; 8) mortality rates; and 9) differences between pediatric and adult populations. Research and inclusion criteria were defined, and all series that contained at least 4 cases and all publications with sufficient data for analysis were included. RESULTS The authors identified 145 operative series of patients with CM-I, primarily from the United States and Europe, and divided patient ages into 1 of 3 categories: adult (> 18 years of age; 27% of the cases), pediatric (≤ 18 years of age; 30%), or unknown (43%). Most series (76%) were published in the previous 21 years. The median number of patients in the series was 31. The mean duration of the studies was 10 years, and the mean follow-up time was 43 months. The peak ages of presentation in the pediatric studies were 8 years, followed by 9 years, and in the adult series, 41 years, followed by 46 years. The incidence of syringomyelia was 65%. Most of the studies (99%) reported the use of posterior fossa/foramen magnum decompression. In 92%, the dura was opened, and in 65% of these cases, the arachnoid was opened and dissected; tonsillar resection was performed in 27% of these patients. Postoperatively, syringomyelia improved or resolved in 78% of the patients. Most series (80%) reported postoperative neurological outcomes as follows: 75% improved, 17% showed no change, and 9% experienced worsening. Postoperative headaches improved or resolved in 81% of the patients, with a statistical difference in favor of the pediatric series. Postoperative complications were reported for 41% of the series, most commonly with CSF leak, pseudomeningocele, aseptic meningitis, wound infection, meningitis, and neurological deficit, with a mean complication rate of 4.5%. Complications were reported for 37% of pediatric, 20% of adult, and 43% of combined series. Mortality was reported for 11% of the series. No difference in mortality rates was seen between the pediatric and adult series. CONCLUSIONS Before undergoing surgical treatment for CM-I, symptomatic patients and their families should be given clear information about the success of treatment and potential complications. Furthermore, surgeons may benefit from comparing published data with their own. In the future, operative CM-I reports should provide all details of each case for the purpose of comparison.
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    ABSTRACT: OBJECT Chiari malformation Type I (CM-I) is a common and often debilitating neurological disease. Efforts to improve treatment of CM-I are impeded by inconsistent and limited methods of evaluating clinical outcomes. To understand current approaches and lay a foundation for future research, the authors conducted a systematic review of the methods used in original published research articles to evaluate clinical outcomes in patients treated for CM-I. METHODS The authors searched PubMed, Embase, the Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature, , and Cochrane databases to identify publications between January 2003 and August 2013 that met the following criteria: 1) reported clinical outcomes in patients treated for CM-I; 2) were original research articles; 3) included at least 10 patients or, if a comparative study, at least 5 patients per group; and 4) were restricted to patients with CM-I. RESULTS Among the 74 papers meeting inclusion criteria, there was wide variation in the outcome methods used. However, all approaches were broadly grouped into 3 categories: 1) "gestalt" impression of overall symptomatic improvement (n = 45 papers); 2) postoperative change in specific signs or symptoms (n = 20); or 3) results of various standardized assessment scales (n = 22). Among standardized scales, 11 general function measures were used, compared with 6 disease-specific tools. Only 3 papers used scales validated in patients with CM-I. To facilitate a uniform comparison of these heterogeneous approaches, the authors appraised articles in multiple domains defined a priori as integral to reporting clinical outcomes in CM-I. Notably, only 7 articles incorporated patient-response instruments when reporting outcome, and only 22 articles explicitly assessed quality of life. CONCLUSIONS The methods used to evaluate clinical outcomes in CM-I are inconsistent and frequently not comparable, complicating efforts to analyze results across studies. Development, validation, and incorporation of a small number of disease-specific patient-based instruments will improve the quality of research and care of CM-I patients.
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    ABSTRACT: Posterior fossa decompression is carried out to improve passage of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) in patients with symptomatic Chiari 1 malformations (CM1), but the extent and means of decompression remains controversial. Dural opening with subsequent duraplasty may contribute to clinical outcome, but may also increase complication risk. The aim of this systematic review and meta-analysis is to assess the effects of durotomy with subsequent duraplasty on clinical outcome in surgical treatment of adults with CM1.
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