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Acta Neurochir (Wien). 2000;142(3):293-301; discussion 301-2.

Surgery for syringomyelia: an analysis based on 163 surgical cases.

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Department of Neurosurgery, King Edward Memorial Hospital & Seth Gordhandas Sunderdas Medical College, Parel, Mumbai, India.



The authors analyzed the cases of 163 patients with syringomyelia to assess the appropriate surgical procedure.


Depending on the aetiological factors and treatment considerations the series was classified into three groups. Group I were cases where there was no definite demonstrable aetiological factor; Group II cases had basilar invagination and/or Chiari malformation; and Group III consisted of cases where the syrinx was secondary to an obvious aetiology, such as a mass lesion either in the posterior cranial fossa or in the spine or a severe kyphotic spinal deformity. Post-traumatic syringomyelia and syrinx in association with spina bifida were not studied.


We concluded that for Group I cases syringosubarachnoid shunting is the ideal form of treatment. In Group II cases foramen magnum bony decompression is satisfactory and physiological. Good results were obtained even in cases where either a foramen magnum decompression alone or in combination with a syringo-subarachnoid shunt was done. Only syringosubarachnoid shunt (without a foramen magnum decompression) in Group II cases was found to produce poor outcome. Group III cases should be treated for the primary aetiological problem. Only syrinx drainage procedure without treatment of aetiology in these cases produced poor results. It was observed that clinical outcome rather than radiological improvement is the reliable indicator of the surgical result.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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