Split Cord Malformation: Experience from a Tertiary Referral Center

BÖRCEK A. Ö. , Ocal O., Emmez H., ZİNNUROĞLU M., Baykaner M. K.

PEDIATRIC NEUROSURGERY, vol.48, no.5, pp.291-298, 2012 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 48 Issue: 5
  • Publication Date: 2012
  • Doi Number: 10.1159/000353393
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.291-298
  • Keywords: Diastometamyelia, Split cord malformation, Spina bifida occulta, CHILDREN
  • Gazi University Affiliated: Yes


Aim: To present clinical, radiological, and follow-up features of 34 cases with spinal split cord malformation (SCM) treated in a tertiary referral center between April 2000 and March 2012. Methods: A total of 59 patients were treated due to SCM between April 2000 and March 2012 at the Gazi University Faculty of Medicine, Division of Pediatric Neurosurgery. Data for each patient were evaluated retrospectively, and age, sex, clinical findings, radiological findings, complications, and surgical results were recorded. Patients with a follow-up period of less than 6 months, patients harboring an open spinal dysraphism, and patients who had had their index surgery in another clinic were excluded, thus leaving a total of 34 patients for further analysis. Results: There were 19 females and 15 males ranging in age from 2 months to 15 years (mean 5.04 years). In this cohort, skin stigma was the most common reason (76.5%) to seek medical care. Of the cases, 22 (64.7%) had lumbar SCM and 12 (35.3%) had thoracic SCM. There were no cervical SCM. Twenty-one (61.8%) of the cases had type 1 SCM and 13 (38.2%) had Type 2 SCM. Of the patients, 21 (61.8%) had a detectable neurological deficit at initial evaluation. There were no differences between patients with and without a neurological deficit regarding age, sex, type, and level of SCM. Overall evaluation of patients regarding their final neurological status revealed that 16 (47.1%) patients improved, 4 (11.8%) deteriorated, and 14 (41.2%) remained stable. Conclusions: In our opinion, all patients diagnosed with either type of SCM should be surgically treated to prevent further neurological deterioration. The results of this study, together with previously published data, confirm the effectiveness and safety of surgical intervention in SCM. Copyright (C) 2013 S. Karger AG, Basel