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Childs Nerv Syst. 2004 Apr;20(4):225-8; discussion 229-38. Epub 2004 Feb 17.

Occipital extra- and intracranial lipoencephalocele associated with tectocerebellar dysraphia.

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Department of Neurosurgery, Geneva University Hospital, Rue Micheli-du-Crest 24, 1211 Genève 14, Switzerland.



Tectocerebellar dysraphism was first described by Padget and Lindenberg, together with occipital encephaloceles, cerebellar midline defects, tectal beaking, posterior kinked and displaced brainstem, and inverted cerebellum. We present a unique case of lipoencephalocele associated with tectocerebellar dysraphia and discuss the etiologies of both pathologies. The importance of the developmental comprehension of posterior fossa malformations is stressed.


A 9-month-old girl in good health was referred for a huge occipital mass. On local examination, the patient had a rounded mass about 10 x 12 cm in size, covered by alopecic skin, with a small eccentric dimple without any discharge. Magnetic resonance imaging revealed a lipoencephalocele with an intra- and an extracranial part, associated with tectocerebellar dysraphia with no aspect of inverted cerebellum as originally described in the tectocerebellar dysraphia. Resection of the extracranial part of the lipoma was performed for esthetic reasons. The intracranial part remained in situ.


The association of lipoencephalocele and tectocerebellar dysraphia is extremely rare. The functional prognosis seems to be less severe for this combination than for the isolated tectocerebellar dysraphia. This association favors the dysraphic theory for the embryogenesis of the lipoma. It seems safe to restrict the surgery of this bizarre malformation to its external part.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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