Hydrosyringomyelia associated with a Chiari I malformation in children and adolescents.Neurosurgery. 1990 Apr; 26(4):591-6; discussion 596-7.N
The clinical presentation, radiological features, and results of surgical treatment were analyzed in 17 cases of hydrosyringomyelia associated with a Chiari malformation, in children and adolescents younger than 20 years of age. The initial symptoms were a skeletal abnormality (71%), such as scoliosis (11 patients) or pes cavus (1 patient), pain or numbness (24%), and motor weakness (6%). Frequently seen signs on admission were sensory deficit (100%), scoliosis (85%), muscle weakness (64%), muscle atrophy (35%), and lower cranial nerve palsy (35%). The characteristic neurological findings were unilateral sensory and motor deficits (65%) with decreased or absent deep tendon reflexes on the same side. The localization of the syrinx on the axial section varied according to the level, even in the same patient. In 11 patients with unilateral sensory disturbances or unilateral sensory and motor deficits, the syrinx was located in the region corresponding to the posterolateral portion on the same side as that of sensory disturbance at the cervical or thoracic level. On the other hand, in 6 patients with bilateral sensory and motor deficits, the syrinx was located in the central portion and extended into the posterolateral portion of the more affected side. A syringosubarachnoid shunt was placed in 16 patients, foramen magnum decompression without closure of the obex was performed in 1 patient, ventriculoperitoneal shunt in 1 patient, terminal syringostomy in 1 patient, and foramen magnum decompression with terminal syringostomy in 1 patient. In 15 of 17 patients (88%), the neurological symptoms improved after an average follow-up of 4 years and 1 month. We think that as a surgical treatment, placement of a syringosubarachnoid shunt is effective.