The spectrum of vacuum phenomenon and gas in spine.

ABSTRACT Although true physical-chemical experimental proofs are lacking in the literature, numerous clinical reports have shown that many radiological manifestations of the so-called vacuum phenomenon (VP) only represent snapshots of a complex dynamic hydropneumatical continuum extending from true vacuum to gas and/or fluid and vice versa. In the great majority of cases, VP remains an incidental accessory or anecdotal finding but, nevertheless, it occasionally represents a useful clinical or radiological sign of critical importance for the understanding, clinical diagnosis, prognosis, and therapeutic implications of several spinal diseases. VP and gas collections have been described in segments of the spine including the disc space, Schmorl nodes and vertebral structures, the epidural and intradural spaces, synovial cysts, and facet joints. In this article the author discusses and illustrates many aspects of VP and gas in the spine through selected examples collected over an 18-month period of time.

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    ABSTRACT: Dermoid sinus is an uncommon epithelial-lined fistula that may be associated with vertebral malformations. In humans, Klippel-Feil syndrome (KFS) is a rare condition characterized by congenital cervical vertebral fusion and may be associated with other developmental defects, including dermoid sinus. The present case report describes an adult Dachshund with cervical and cranial thoracic vertebral malformations as well as thoracic limb malformations resembling KFS with a concurrent type IV dermoid sinus. A 1.5 year-old Dachshund with congenital thoracic limbs deformities and cervical-thoracic vertebral malformations presented with cervical hyperesthesia, rigidity of the cervical musculature and tetraparesis. Neurologic, radiographic, and computed tomography (CT) (2D, 3D, CT fistulography) examinations revealed skeletal anomalies, a dermoid sinus in the cranial thoracic region and epidural gas within the vertebral canal. Surgical resection and histopathological evaluation of the sinus tract were performed and confirmed a type IV dermoid sinus. The clinical signs progressively recovered postoperatively, and no recurrent signs were observed after 6 months of follow-up. Cervical vertebral malformations associated with limbs anomalies have not been reported in dogs and may represent a condition similar to KFS in humans. KFS can occur concurrently with other congenital conditions including dermoid sinus and should be included among the complex congenital anomalies described in dogs.
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    ABSTRACT: Vacuum phenomenon (VP) is an anatomical entity of potential confusion in the diagnosis and evaluation of joint pathology. Observation of this phenomenon has been demonstrated on basic radiographs, computed tomography, and magnetic resonance imaging. Although VP is most often associated with degenerative joint disease, it is observed with other pathologies. Two problematic scenarios can occur: a false-positive diagnosis of serious pathology instead of benign VP and a false-negative diagnosis of benign VP with a more serious underlying process Despite this potential for confusion, criteria for distinguishing VP from other causes of joint pain and for evaluating a suspected case of VP have not been fully established. We reviewed the literature to determine underlying mechanism, symptomology, associated pathologies, and clinical importance of VP. The formation of VP can be explained by gas solubility, pressure-volume relationships, and human physiology. CT, GRE-MRI, and multipositional views are the best imaging studies to view VP. Although most cases of VP are benign, it can be associated with clinical signs and symptoms. VP outside the spine is an underreported finding on imaging studies. VP should be on the differential diagnosis for joint pain, especially in the elderly. We have proposed criteria for diagnosing VP and generated a basic algorithm for its workup. Underreporting of this phenomenon shows a lack of awareness of VP on the part of physicians. By identifying true anatomic VP, we can prevent harm from suboptimal treatment of patients. Clin. Anat., 2013. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
    Clinical Anatomy 11/2013; · 1.16 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We report two very unusual observations in which gas and fluid effusions were transiently and unexpectedly found in the extravertebral spaces of patients presenting with painful necrotic vertebral collapse containing a vacuum cleft. We hypothesize that gas and/or fluid which progressively may replace vacuum in vertebral compression fractures could be secondarily pumped through extravertebral and retroperitoneal spaces. Although being rare, these observations may represent a potential missing link in the imaging snapshots of the cyclic and dynamic vacuum phenomenon.
    JBR-BTR: organe de la Société royale belge de radiologie (SRBR) = orgaan van de Koninklijke Belgische Vereniging voor Radiologie (KBVR) 96(1):10-6.

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May 23, 2014