Chiari malformation, cervical disc prolapse and syringomyelia - always think twice

Department of Neurosurgery, Royal North Shore Hospital, Pacific Highway, St. Leonards, 2065 New South Wales, Australia.
Journal of Clinical Neuroscience (Impact Factor: 1.38). 05/2008; 15(4):474-6. DOI: 10.1016/j.jocn.2006.10.026
Source: PubMed


We present the case of a 36-year-old man with neck pain and parasthesia of both upper limbs. Magnetic resonance imaging demonstrated a cervical disc protrusion with spinal cord compression, a Chiari I malformation and cervical syringomyelia. On clinical grounds it was suspected that the cervical stenosis was the symptomatic pathology and an anterior cervical decompression was performed, followed by arthroplasty. Post-operative imaging demonstrated adequate canal decompression, preserved cervical mobility and near-complete resolution of the syrinx. Syringomyelia has a multitude of causes and synchronous pathology can occur. Cervical spondylosis is infrequently associated with syringomyelia. Chiari I malformations are increasingly incidentally detected and asymptomatic. This first report of arthroplasty for cervical spondylosis associated with syringomyelia adds to the growing body of experience with this new technology.

15 Reads
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Syringomyelia is a centromedullary syndrome that can be treated conservatively or with various neurosurgical procedures. We hypothesized that different clinical subgroups of patients exist, which would necessitate the need for individualised neurosurgical intervention and maintenance to achieve optimal quality of life (QoL). Using both the short-form 36-item (SF-36) questionnaire and the Syringomyelia Disability Index, clinical and QoL data was prospectively assessed in 142 patients with syringomyelia. Cluster analysis was then performed on the subscale results of the SF-36. The SF-36 scores of those with syringomyelia were significantly lower than those of the general German population, as well as when compared to those patients suffering from other chronic diseases. The SF-36 scores were independent of the syringomyelia patients' underlying syrinx pathology. Cluster analysis of the QoL patterns revealed four indicative patient groups. Syringomyelia is a chronic, progressive disease, and the syrinx itself appears to be the source of the symptoms, rather than the underlying pathology. The identified QoL subgroups in syringomyelia patients indicate the necessity of appropriate diagnosis and treatment of the pathology so that expansion of the syrinx cavity is reduced, maintaining QoL and functionality of these patients.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2009 · Journal of Clinical Neuroscience
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: A 50-year-old male presented with back pain and numbness of the lower extremities persisting for 10 years. He had played volleyball for a long period until recently. He had no history of meningitis or traumatic injury. Magnetic resonance imaging revealed a syringomyelia located in the region from T8 to T9 without contrast enhancement or Chiari malformations. Computed tomography showed T9-10 spinal stenosis caused by the right enlarged ossified yellow ligament. Decompressive laminectomy was performed and the ossified ligament removed. Due to the finding of arachnoid thickening and adhesions during the intradural operation, shunting was also performed. Postoperatively, the neuroimaging and clinical findings improved. Syringomyelia is often associated with Chiari malformations, trauma, spinal tumor, hemorrhaging, and meningitis. We suggest that repeated minor mechanical damage caused by physical exercise in addition to long-standing compression of the spinal cord due to spinal spondylosis could induce severe arachnoid fibrotic change similar to adhesive arachnoiditis, which may be one of the main triggers of syringomyelia. Extradural decompressive surgery is considered to be the initial treatment for syringomyelia associated with spinal spondylosis.
    No preview · Article · Feb 2011 · Neurologia medico-chirurgica
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: To evaluate the applicability of 4D phase contrast (4D PC) MR imaging in the assessment of cerebrospinal fluid dynamics in healthy volunteers and patients with lesions at the craniocervical junction or the cervical spinal canal. Ten healthy volunteers and four patients with lesions including Chiari I malformation and cervical canal stenoses were examined by a cardiac-gated 4D PC imaging sequence on 1.5T MRI. Phase contrast images were postprocessed allowing for flow quantification and flow pathline visualisation. Velocity data were compared with conventional axial 2D phase contrast images. The 4D PC sequence allowed for flow quantification and visualisation in all individuals. Bland-Altman analysis showed good agreement of 2D and 4D PC velocity data. In healthy volunteers, CSF flow was homogeneously distributed in the anterior and anterolateral subarachnoid space with the flow directed caudally during systole and cranially during diastole. Flow velocities were closely related to the width of the subarachnoid space. Patients showed grossly altered CSF flow patterns with formation of flow jets with increased flow velocities. 4D PC MR imaging allows for a detailed assessment of CSF flow dynamics helping to distinguish physiological from complex pathological flow patterns at the craniocervical junction and the cervical spine.
    No preview · Article · Mar 2011 · European Radiology
Show more