Occurrence of Split Cord Malformation in Meningomyelocele: Complex Spina bifida

Kumar, Raj; Bansal, Krishan Kumar; Chhabra, Devendra Kumar
March 2002
Pediatric Neurosurgery;Mar2002, Vol. 36 Issue 3, p119
Academic Journal
Objective: To describe the clinical features and surgical outcome of a combined anomaly, i.e. split cord malformation (SCM) with meningomyelocele (MMC), and to propose an addition to Pang’s classification of SCM to accommodate a combined form of anomaly. Methods: We retrospectively analyzed 16 cases of such a combination, out of a total of 106 cases of spinal dysraphism treated and studied prospectively for outcome at our center. The clinical profile and outcome of these cases are described. Results: All cases had SCM and MMC. Nine patients were males, and the mean age of presentation was 3.9 years. Twelve patients had Pang’s type I SCM and the other 4 were of type II. The MMC sac was lumbar in 11 cases. In all the patients, SCM was present either at the same level as the MMC or one to two segments above it. Nine patients had motor weakness, 6 had hypoesthesia, 4 had urinary incontinence and 3 had trophic ulcers. Nine patients had neuroorthopedic syndrome. All cases, except 3 (who were operated on at birth, at which time ‘superficial surgery’ was performed without relevant imaging), underwent repair of the MMC and excision of the spur/septum at the same sitting. The 3 cases who had undergone superficial surgery, however, were operated on for SCM following investigation at our center, obviously at a second sitting. After an average follow-up of 7.2 months, 4 patients showed improvement in motor weakness, 5 in hypoesthesia and 3 in urinary symptoms, whereas trophic ulcers had healed in all cases. Conclusion: With respect to the occurrence of SCM at or above the level of an MMC, we feel it is apt to screen the entire spinal/neuraxis by MRI in children with MMC. We labeled this combined pathology ‘complex spina bifida’, and feel it is necessary to make a minor modification to Pang’s classification to accommodate the pure/combined anomalies together.Copyright © 2002 S. Karger AG, Basel


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