Purpose: Limited dorsal myeloschisis (LDM) is characterized by a fibroneural tethering stalk linking the skin lesion to the underlying spinal cord. Terminal syringomyelia, which is located at the lower third of the cord, is often associated with a tethered cord caused by various spinal dysraphisms; however, terminal syringomyelia has not been documented in LDM. The purpose of this study was to clarify the pathophysiological mechanisms of syringomyelia in LDM. Methods: In our 16 patients with lumbar LDM, three patients had terminal syringomyelia. We retrospectively analyzed the clinical, neuroradiological, intraoperative, and histopathological findings for these patients, with particular attention to the clinical course of the syrinx. Results: Patient 1 had a saccular skin lesion and patients 2 and 3 had flat lesions. In all patients, the syringomyelic cavity was located in the lower thoracolumbar cord, immediately rostral to the stalk–cord attachment at the lumbar level. The caudal pole of the syrinx extended to the thickened stalk at the attachment instead of at the caudal cord. Patient 3 had another syrinx in the stalk itself. The longitudinal axis of the syrinx and central canal coincided with the traveling angle of the LDM stalk at the stalk–cord attachment. In patient 1, histology revealed an ependyma-lined central canal in both the LDM stalk and meningocele sac. Patients 1 and 2 underwent syringostomy, but long-term effects were not obtained. Preoperative spontaneous resolution occurred in patient 3. Conclusions: The histological findings in patient 1 supported the idea that segmental myelocystocele is involved in the development of saccular LDM. The hydromyelic central canal herniates and distends the stalk, resulting in the formation of the myelocystocele. It is possible that the hydromyelic central canal also distends the stalk of flat LDM lesions. The syrinx in patient 3 differed from that in patients 1 and 2, in that the syrinx resolved spontaneously. Further studies are needed to clarify the outcomes of syrinxes associated with LDM stalks.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Clinical Neurology