Article

Chiari malformation Type I and syrinx in children undergoing magnetic resonance imaging: Clinical article

Department of Neurosurgery, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA.
Journal of Neurosurgery Pediatrics (Impact Factor: 1.48). 08/2011; 8(2):205-13. DOI: 10.3171/2011.5.PEDS1121
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT

Chiari malformation Type I (CM-I) with an associated spinal syrinx is a common pediatric diagnosis. A better understanding of the relative age-related prevalence and MR imaging characteristics of these associated conditions may lead to improved treatment decisions.
The authors performed a retrospective review of 14,116 consecutive individuals 18 years of age or younger who had undergone brain or cervical spine MR imaging at the University of Michigan between November 1997 and August 2008. In the patients with CM-I, demographic, clinical, and radiographic information was recorded.
Five hundred nine children (3.6%) with CM-I were identified. Among these patients, 23% also had a spinal cord syrinx, and 86% of the syringes were found in the cervical spine. The MR imaging prevalence of CM-I with a syrinx was 1.2% in girls and 0.5% in boys (p < 0.0001). The severity of impaired CSF flow at the foramen magnum was associated with the amount of tonsillar herniation (p < 0.0001) and conformation of the tonsils (p < 0.0001). Patients with CM-I were treated surgically in 35% of cases; these patients exhibited more severe tonsillar herniation (p < 0.0001) and impaired CSF flow (p < 0.0001) as compared with those who did not undergo surgery. On imaging, 32% of all the patients with CM-I were considered symptomatic by the treating physician. Patients were more likely to be considered symptomatic if they were female, had a syrinx, displayed abnormal tonsillar pulsations, or had a greater amount of tonsillar herniation.
In this study the authors describe the age-related prevalence and MR imaging characteristics of CM-I and its association with a syrinx and other abnormalities in a large group of children who underwent MR imaging for any indication. Syringes are more common in older children, in girls, and in patients with a greater degree of tonsillar descent and CSF flow impairment.

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    • "Another reason is the lack of studies that have comprehensively correlated all three aspects of CMI lesions, namely clinical findings, anatomical features (tonsil descent, shape of tonsils, presence or absence of cervical syrinx), and physiology (polysomnographic assessment of sleep related breathing function ). Strahle et al. incorporated sleep related breathing function into the assessment (n = 147), but their study period of 1998–2008 was largely prior to promulgation in 2007 of standardized guidelines for the recording and scoring of pediatric polysomnograms [1] [16] [17]. "
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    ABSTRACT: To evaluate nocturnal polysomnogram findings in children with suspected symptomatic Chiari type I malformation, correlate them with clinical and magnetic resonance imaging data and to determine if this information has value in clinical decision making process. A retrospective review identified 24 children with type I Chiari malformation, presumed symptomatic who had undergone neurological assessment, cranial magnetic resonance imaging and nocturnal polysomnography. Perimedullary subarachnoid space effacement on the magnetic resonance studies and the magnitude of cerebellar tonsillar descent in relation to the McRae line were correlated with frequency of obstructive or central sleep apnea, number of cortical arousals and evidence of impaired vocal mobility on laryngoscopy. The Wilcoxon rank sum test was applied for continuous variables and the Fisher exact test for categorical variables. The median age of the subjects was 6 years. The findings from 16/24 subjects with perimedullary subarachnoid space effacement (effaced group) were compared with those of 8/24 in the non-effaced group. The central apnea index [1.5 (IQR 1-3.5) versus 0.5 (IQR 0-1.5)] and cortical arousal index [12 (IQR 10-19) versus 8 (IQR 6.5-9)] were significantly higher in the effaced group than in the non-effaced group (p=0.0376 and 0.0036 respectively). Greater descent of tonsils as measured by distance from the McRae line to the tonsil tip was associated with significantly higher central apnea index, total arousal index and respiratory event related arousals. Measurements of clivus-canal angle, Klauss index and pB-C2 line did not correlate with abnormalities on polysomnography. The central apnea and arousal indices derived from the nocturnal polysomnogram correlate well with magnetic resonance imaging findings of subarachnoid space effacement and degree of tonsillar herniation. In children with Chiari type I malformation, the nocturnal polysomnogram findings provides important information that aids in the decision making process about proceeding with surgical decompression.
    Full-text · Article · Jun 2013 · Clinical neurology and neurosurgery
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    • "Another reason is the lack of studies that have comprehensively correlated all three aspects of CMI lesions, namely clinical findings, anatomical features (tonsil descent, shape of tonsils, presence or absence of cervical syrinx), and physiology (polysomnographic assessment of sleep related breathing function ). Strahle et al. incorporated sleep related breathing function into the assessment (n = 147), but their study period of 1998–2008 was largely prior to promulgation in 2007 of standardized guidelines for the recording and scoring of pediatric polysomnograms [1] [16] [17]. "
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    ABSTRACT: a b s t r a c t Objective: To evaluate nocturnal polysomnogram findings in children with suspected symptomatic Chiari type I malformation, correlate them with clinical and magnetic resonance imaging data and to determine if this information has value in clinical decision making process. Methods: A retrospective review identified 24 children with type I Chiari malformation, presumed symp-tomatic who had undergone neurological assessment, cranial magnetic resonance imaging and nocturnal polysomnography. Perimedullary subarachnoid space effacement on the magnetic resonance studies and the magnitude of cerebellar tonsillar descent in relation to the McRae line were correlated with frequency of obstructive or central sleep apnea, number of cortical arousals and evidence of impaired vocal mobility on laryngoscopy. The Wilcoxon rank sum test was applied for continuous variables and the Fisher exact test for categorical variables. Results: The median age of the subjects was 6 years. The findings from 16/24 subjects with perimedullary subarachnoid space effacement (effaced group) were compared with those of 8/24 in the non-effaced group. The central apnea index [1.5 (IQR 1–3.5) versus 0.5 (IQR 0–1.5)] and cortical arousal index [12 (IQR 10–19) versus 8 (IQR 6.5–9)] were significantly higher in the effaced group than in the non-effaced group (p = 0.0376 and 0.0036 respectively). Greater descent of tonsils as measured by distance from the McRae line to the tonsil tip was associated with significantly higher central apnea index, total arousal index and respiratory event related arousals. Measurements of clivus-canal angle, Klauss index and pB-C2 line did not correlate with abnormalities on polysomnography. Conclusion: The central apnea and arousal indices derived from the nocturnal polysomnogram correlate well with magnetic resonance imaging findings of subarachnoid space effacement and degree of ton-sillar herniation. In children with Chiari type I malformation, the nocturnal polysomnogram findings provides important information that aids in the decision making process about proceeding with surgical decompression.
    Full-text · Dataset · May 2013
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    ABSTRACT: Chiari Type I malformation (CMI) is a congenital disorder recognized by caudal displacement of the cerebellar tonsils through the foramen magnum and into the cervical canal. Frequently, associated findings include abnormalities of nearby bony and neural elements as well as syringomyelia. Cerebellar tonsillar ectopia is generally considered pathological when greater than 5 mm below the foramen magnum. However, asymptomatic tonsillar ectopia is an increasingly recognized phenomenon, the significance of which is poorly understood. The authors retrospectively reviewed the records of all brain magnetic resonance (MR) images obtained at our hospital over a 43-month period in an attempt to ascertain the relative prevalence and MR imaging characteristics of asymptomatic CMIs. Of 22,591 patients who underwent MR imaging of the head and cervical spine, 175 were found to have CMIs with tonsillar herniation extending more than 5 mm below the foramen magnum. Of these, 25 (14%) were found to be clinically asymptomatic. The average extent of ectopia in this population was 11.4 +/- 4.86 mm, and was significantly associated with a smaller cisterna magna. Syringomyelia and osseous anomalies were found in only one asymptomatic patient. The authors suggest that the isolated finding of tonsillar herniation is of limited prognostic utility and must be considered in the context of all available clinical and radiographic data. Strategies for treating patients with asymptomatic CMIs are discussed.
    No preview · Article · Jul 2000 · Journal of Neurosurgery
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