Posterior fossa decompression and duraplasty with and without tonsillar resection for the treatment of adult Chiari malformation type I and syringomyelia.Medicine (Baltimore). 2022 Dec 16; 101(50):e31394.M
The current surgical management of adult Chiari malformation type I (CM-I) with associated syringomyelia remains controversial. The objective of this study was to explore posterior fossa decompression and duraplasty (PFDD) with and without tonsillar resection in adult patients with CM-I and syringomyelia.
A total of 116 adult patients suffering from both CM-I and syringomyelia who were scheduled to undergo surgical decompression at our institution between 2012 and 2020 were randomly divided into 2 groups: the PFDD group (n = 64) underwent PFDD without tonsillar resection, while the PFDD-T group (n = 52) underwent PFDD with tonsillar resection. The primary outcome was improvement or resolution of the syrinx. The secondary outcome was an improvement in clinical outcome based on Chicago Chiari Outcome Scale (CCOS) scores. All participants were followed-up to 1-year postoperatively.
The proportions of patients who had >20% improvement in syrinx size were 60.9% and 78.8% in the PFDD and PFDD-T groups, respectively (P = .038). The improvement in clinical outcome based on CCOS scores was significantly different in the 2 groups (P = .004). The functionality sub-score was significantly different between the 2 groups (P = .027), but there were no significant differences in the pain symptoms, non-pain symptoms, and complications sub-scores. The total CCOS scores were higher in the PFDD-T group than in the PFDD group (P = .037).
This study determined the role of tonsillar resection in achieving obvious syrinx improvement following PFDD-T. PFDD with tonsillar resection seems to be a safe and effective surgical option to treat adult CM-I patients with syringomyelia.