Considering the diagnosis of occipitocervical dissociation

Department of Neurosurgery, Stanford University School of Medicine, 300 Pasteur Drive, MC 5327, Stanford, CA 94305, USA.
The spine journal: official journal of the North American Spine Society (Impact Factor: 2.43). 05/2013; 13(5):520-2. DOI: 10.1016/j.spinee.2013.02.030
Source: PubMed


COMMENTARY ON: Gire JD, Roberto RF, Bobinski M, et al. The utility and accuracy of computed tomography in the diagnosis of occipitocervical dissociation. Spine J 2013;13:510-9 (in this issue).

5 Reads
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: To demonstrate the utility of magnetic resonance (MR) imaging in the diagnosis of complete and partial ligamentous injuries in patients with suspected atlanto-occipital dissociation (AOD). Five patients with suspected AOD had MR imaging performed within an average of 4 days after injury. MR scans were reviewed with specific analysis of craniocervical ligamentous structures. Charts were reviewed to obtain clinical information regarding presentation, treatment, hospital course, and outcome. Two patients demonstrated MR evidence of complete AOD. One had disruption of all visualized major ligamentous structures at the craniocervical junction with anterolisthesis and evidence of cord damage. The second had injuries to the tectorial membrane, superior band of the cruciform ligament, apical ligament, and interspinous ligament at C 1-2. The remaining three patients sustained incomplete severance of the ligamentous structures at the craniocervical junction. All patients demonstrated subtle radiographic findings suggestive of AOD, including soft tissue swelling at the craniocervical junction without fracture. The two patients with complete AOD died. The three patients with partial AOD were treated with stabilization. On follow-up, these three children were asymptomatic following their craniocervical injury. MR imaging of acute AOD provides accurate identification of the craniocervical ligaments injured, classification of full versus partial ligamentous disruption, and analysis of accompanying spinal cord injury. This information is important for early appropriate neurosurgical management and preservation of neurologic function in survivors.
    Pediatric Radiology 05/1999; 29(4):275-81. DOI:10.1007/s002470050588 · 1.57 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Injuries to the atlanto-occipital region, which range from complete atlanto-occipital or atlantoaxial dislocation to nondisplaced occipital condyle avulsion fractures, are usually of critical clinical importance. At initial cross-table lateral radiography, measurement of the basion-dens and basion-posterior axial line intervals and comparison with normal measurements may help detect injury. Computed tomography (CT) with sagittal and coronal reformatted images permits optimal detection and evaluation of fracture and luxation. CT findings that may suggest atlanto-occipital injury include joint incongruity, focal hematomas, vertebral artery injury, capsular swelling, and, rarely, fractures through cranial nerve canals. Magnetic resonance (MR) imaging of the cervical spine with fat-suppressed gradient-echo T2-weighted or short-inversion-time inversion recovery sequences can demonstrate increased signal intensity in the atlantoaxial and atlanto-occipital joints, craniocervical ligaments, prevertebral soft tissues, and spinal cord. Axial gradient-echo MR images may be particularly useful in assessing the integrity of the transverse atlantal ligament. All imaging studies should be conducted with special attention to bone integrity and the possibility of soft-tissue injury. Atlanto-occipital injuries are now recognized as potentially survivable, although commonly with substantial morbidity. Swift diagnosis by the trauma radiologist is crucial for ensuring prompt, effective treatment and preventing delayed neurologic deficits in patients who survive such injuries.
    Radiographics 11/2000; 20 Spec No(suppl_1):S237-50. DOI:10.1148/radiographics.20.suppl_1.g00oc23s237 · 2.60 Impact Factor
  • Clinical neurosurgery 02/2002; 49:407-98.
Show more