The use of intraoperative sonography was analyzed in 24 patients with spinal dysraphism and syringohydromyelia in order to determine the role of real-time sonography in the surgical management of these patients. Specific diagnoses included tethered cord (nine), syringohydromyelia (seven), congenital tumor unassociated with a tethered cord (four), diastematomyelia (three), and occult sacral meningocele (one). Intraoperative sonography determined the exact relationship of congenital tumors to the cord before opening the dura, which allowed a more precise approach to the mass. Intraoperative sonography identified the lower end of the syrinx cavities, which allowed optimal catheter placement. Fibroglial scar tissue, which may compartmentalize these syrinx cavities, was clearly shown, and the efficacy of shunt catheter placement was immediately determined. In diastematomyelia, intraoperative sonography identified the relationship of the hemicords to bony, cartilaginous, and/or fibrous septa and demonstrated the effect on the tethered hemicords of (1) removing these septa and (2) constructing a single dural sac from the two dural sacs that had enclosed the hemicords. Since significant surgical decisions are based on these sonographic observations, the authors urge widespread use of intraoperative sonography in patients with spinal dysraphism and syringohydromyelia.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging