The role of thecoperitoneal shunts in the management of syringomyelia is not well defined. In this study, the authors analyze the outcome of lumboperitoneal shunt procedures carried out to treat syringomyelia in their institution.
The authors retrospectively reviewed the medical records of 19 patients who underwent lumboperitoneal shunt procedures for syringomyelia.
The mean follow-up duration was 25 months (range 3–51 months). Of 16 cases followed up, only 5 patients reported clinical improvement in their preoperative symptoms, but of these, 2 had clear radiological evidence of improvement. Three of 6 patients with syringomyelia due to spinal arachnoiditis improved.
Lumboperitoneal shunts may lead to useful improvement in the symptoms of a patient with syringomyelia while avoiding the risk of neurological deterioration inherent in myelotomies required for syrinx shunting procedures.