Duraplasty using a combination of a pedicled dural flap and collagen matrix in posterior fossa decompression for pediatric Chiari malformation type 1 with syrinx

Acta Neurochirurgica (2024) 166:70

In posterior fossa decompression for pediatric Chiari malformation type 1 (CM-1), duraplasty methods using various dural substitutes have been reported to improve surgical outcomes and minimize postoperative complications. To obtain sufficient posterior fossa decompression without cerebrospinal fluid-related complications, we developed a novel duraplasty technique using a combination of a pedicled dural flap and collagen matrix. The objective of this study was to describe the operative nuances of duraplasty using a combination of a pedicled dural flap and collagen matrix in posterior fossa decompression for pediatric CM-1.

Methods We reviewed the clinical and radiographic records of 11 consecutive pediatric patients who underwent posterior fossa decompression with duraplasty using a combination of a pedicled dural flap and collagen matrix followed by expansile cranioplasty for CM-1. The largest area of the syrinx and the size of the posterior fossa were calculated.

Results The maximum syrinx area was reduced by a mean of 68.5% ± 27.3% from preoperatively to postoperatively. Four patients (36.4%) had near-complete syrinx resolution (> 90%, grade III reduction), five (45.5%) had 50% to 90% reduction (grade II), and two (18.2%) had < 50% reduction (grade I). The posterior fossa area in the midsagittal section increased by 8.9% from preoperatively to postoperatively. There were no postoperative complications, including cerebrospinal fluid leakage, pseudomeningocele formation, or infection.

Conclusion Duraplasty using a combination of a pedicled dural flap and collagen matrix in posterior fossa decompression is a promising safe and effective surgical technique for pediatric CM-1 with syrinx.

Posterior cranial fossa and cervical spine morphometric abnormalities in symptomatic Chiari type 0 and Chiari type 1 malformation patients with and without syringomyelia

Acta Neurochirurgica (2021) 163:3051–3064

To better understand how anatomical features of Chiari malformation type 0 (CM0) result in the manifestation of Chiari malformation type 1 (CM1) signs and symptoms, we conducted a morphometric study of the posterior cranial fossa (PCF) and cervical canal in patients with CM1 and CM0.

Methods This retrospective study had a STROBE design and included 120 adult patients with MRI evidence of a small PCF (SPCF), typical clinical symptoms of CM1, and a diagnosis of CM1, CM0, or SPCF-TH0-only (SPCF with cerebellar ectopia less than 2 mm and without syringomyelia). Patients were divided by MRI findings into 4 groups: SPCF-TH0-only, SPCF-TH0-syr (CM0 with SPCF and syringomyelia), SPCF-CM1-only (SPCF with cerebellar ectopia 5 mm or more without syringomyelia), and SPCF-CM1-syr (CM1 with syringomyelia). Neurological examination data and MRI parameters were analyzed.

Results All patient cohorts had morphometric evidence of a small, flattened, and overcrowded PCF. The PCF phenotype of the SPCF-TH0-only group differed from that of other CM cohorts in that the length of clivus and supraocciput and the height of the PF were longer, the upper CSF spaces of PCF were taller, and the area of the foramen magnum was smaller. The SPCF-TH0 groups had a more significant narrowing of the superior cervical canal and a smaller decrease in PCF height than the SPCF-CM1 groups.

Conclusions Patients with SPCF-TH0 with and without syringomyelia developed Chiari 1 symptoms and signs. Patients with SPCF-TH0-syr (Chiari 0) had more constriction of their CSF pathways in and around the foramen magnum than patients with SPCF-TH0-only.

Origin of Syrinx Fluid in Syringomyelia: A Physiological Study

Neurosurgery 84:457–468, 2019

The origin of syrinx fluid is controversial.

OBJECTIVE: To elucidate themechanisms of syringomyelia associated with cerebrospinal fluid pathway obstruction and with intramedullary tumors, contrast transport from the spinal subarachnoid space (SAS) to syrinx was evaluated in syringomyelia patients.

METHODS: We prospectively studied patients with syringomyelia: 22 with Chiari I malformation and 16 with SAS obstruction-related syringomyelia before and 1 wk after surgery, and 9 with tumor-related syringomyelia before surgery only. Computed tomographymyelography quantified dye transport into the syrinx before and 0.5, 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, and 22 h after contrast injection by measuring contrast density in Hounsfield units (HU).

RESULTS: Before surgery, more contrast passed into the syrinx in Chiari I malformation related syringomyelia and spinal obstruction-related syringomyelia than in tumor-related syringomyelia, as measured by (1) maximum syrinx HU, (2) area under the syrinx concentration-time curve (HU AUC), (3) ratio of syrinx HU to subarachnoid cerebrospinal fluid (CSF; SAS) HU, and (4) AUC syrinx/AUC SAS. More contrast (AUC) accumulated in the syrinx and subarachnoid space before than after surgery.

CONCLUSION: Transparenchymal bulk flow of CSF from the subarachnoid space to syrinx occurs in Chiari I malformation-related syringomyelia and spinal obstruction-related syringomyelia. Before surgery, more subarachnoid contrast entered syringes associated with CSF pathway obstruction than with tumor, consistent with syrinx fluid originating from the subarachnoid space in Chiari I malformation and spinal obstruction-related syringomyelia and not from the subarachnoid space in tumor-related syringomyelia. Decompressive surgery opened subarachnoid CSF pathways and reduced contrast entry into syringes associated with CSF pathway obstruction.

Complications and Resource Use Associated With Surgery for Chiari Malformation Type 1 in Adults


Neurosurgery 77:261–268, 2015

Outcomes research on Chiari malformation type 1 (CM-1) is impeded by a reliance on small, single-center cohorts.

OBJECTIVE: To study the complications and resource use associated with adult CM-1 surgery using administrative data.

METHODS: We used a recently validated International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision, Clinical Modification code algorithm to retrospectively study adult CM-1 surgeries from 2004 to 2010 in California, Florida, and New York using State Inpatient Databases. Outcomes included complications and resource use within 30 and 90 days of treatment. We used multivariable logistic regression to identify risk factors for morbidity and negative binomial models to determine risk-adjusted costs.

RESULTS: We identified 1947 CM-1 operations. Surgical complications were more common than medical complications at both 30 days (14.3% vs 4.4%) and 90 days (18.7% vs 5.0%) postoperatively. Certain comorbidities were associated with increased morbidity; for example, hydrocephalus increased the risk for surgical (odds ratio [OR] = 4.51) and medical (OR = 3.98) complications. Medical but not surgical complications were also more common in older patients (OR = 5.57 for oldest vs youngest age category) and male patients (OR = 3.19). Risk-adjusted hospital costs were $22530 at 30 days and $24852 at 90 days postoperatively. Risk-adjusted 90-day costs were more than twice as high for patients experiencing surgical ($46264) or medical ($65679) complications than for patients without complications ($18880).

CONCLUSION: Complications after CM-1 surgery are common, and surgical complications are more frequent than medical complications. Certain comorbidities and demographic characteristics are associated with increased risk for complications. Beyond harming patients, complications are also associated with substantially higher hospital costs. These results may help guide patient management and inform decision making for patients considering surgery.