Surgical Management of Complex Spinal Cord Lipomas : A New Perspective.J Korean Neurosurg Soc. 2020 May; 63(3):279-313.JK
This review summarises the classification, anatomy and embryogenesis of complex spinal cord lipomas, and describes in some detail the new technique of total lipoma resection and radical reconstruction of the affected neural placode. Its specific mission is to tackle two main issues surrounding the management of complex dysraphic lipomas : whether total resection confers better long term benefits than partial resection, and whether total resection does better than conservative treatment, i.e., no surgery, for asymptomatic lipomas. Accordingly, the 24 years progression-free survival data of the author and colleagues' series of over 350 cases of total resection are compared with historical data from multiple series (including our own) of partial resection, and total resection data specifically for asymptomatic lesions are compared with the two known series of non-surgical treatment of equivalent patients. These comparisons amply support the author's recommendation of total resection for most complex lipomas, with or without symptoms. The notable exception is the asymptomatic chaotic lipoma, whose peculiar anatomical relationship with the neural tissue defies even our aggressive surgical approach, and consequently projects worse results (admittedly of small number of cases) than for the other two lipoma subtypes of dorsal and transitional lesions. Prophylactic resection of asymptomatic chaotic lipomas is therefore not currently endorsed.