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  • Author or Editor: Shigeaki Kobayashi x
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Syringomyelia without hindbrain herniation: tight cisterna magna

Report of four cases and a review of the literature

Kazuhiko Kyoshima, Takayuki Kuroyanagi, Fusakazu Oya, Yukihiro Kamijo, Hossam El-Noamany and Shigeaki Kobayashi

✓ Idiopathic syringomyelia, which is not associated with any definite pathogenic lesions, has been treated mainly by shunting of the syrinx and rarely by craniocervical decompression. The authors report four cases of syringomyelia thought to be idiopathic syringomyelia but treated by craniocervical decompression with favorable results. Syringomyelia was present without hindbrain herniation. In such cases, the subarachnoid space anterior to the brainstem at the level of the foramen magnum is usually open but the cisterna magna is impacted by the tonsils, a condition the authors term “tight cisterna magna.”

All patients underwent foramen magnum decompression and C-1 laminectomy, and the outer layer of the dura was peeled off. Further intradural exploration was performed when outflow of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) from the fourth ventricle was deemed to be insufficient. Postoperatively, improvement in symptoms and a reduction in syrinx size were demonstrated in three patients, and a reduction in ventricle size was shown in two.

Syringomyelia associated with tight cisterna magna should not be classified as idiopathic syringomyelia; rather, it belongs to the category of organic syringomyelia such as Chiari malformation. A possible pathogenesis of cavitation is obstruction of the CSF outflow from the foramen of Magendie, and the cavity may be a communicating dilation of the central canal. Ventricular dilation may depend on the extent to which CSF drainage is impaired from the foramina of Luschka. These cavities may respond to craniocervical decompression if it results in sufficient CSF outflow from the foramen of Magendie, even in cases with concomitant hydrocephalus.

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Yukinari Kakizawa, Hisashi Nagashima, Fusakazu Oya, Kiyoshi Ito, Yuichiro Tanaka, Kazuhiro Hongo and Shigeaki Kobayashi

✓ Although in several histological studies of arteriovenous malformation (AVM) nidi the presence of compartments has been documented, no clinical study has been published. The present study was conducted to determine the presence of nidus compartments in clinical cases by using a new radiographic method.

Two patients with unruptured and one with a ruptured AVM (all Spetzler—Martin Grade III) were studied. A microcatheter was superselectively introduced into each of two or three feeding arteries of the AVMs under three-dimensional (3D) angiographic guidance to obtain 3D images of the nidus by using rotational digital subtraction angiography. On 3D images the different feeding arteries were found to be independent from one another, which allowed the authors to confirm the presence of compartments. On the other hand, separate feeding arteries often had a common draining vessel. Compartments in AVM nidi were demonstrated by a novel rotational 3D angiographic procedure by using superselective microcatheterization, which should be useful for designing treatment strategies for large and complex AVMs.