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Scoliosis Associated with Syringomyelia: Clinical and Radiologic Correlation

Özerdemoglu, Remzi A., MD*; Denis, Francis, MD; Transfeldt, Ensor E., MD

doi: 10.1097/01.BRS.0000067117.07325.86

Study Design. A retrospective review with statistical correlations of 112 patients having both scoliosis and syringomyelia was performed.

Objective. To determine whether there were significant correlations between the type of scoliosis, location of the syrinx, size of the syrinx, clinical manifestation of the syrinx, and associated lesions such as cord tethering and Chiari malformation (Chiari I or Arnold–Chiari II).

Summary of Background Data. The coexistence of scoliosis and syringomyelia has been described previously, but these detailed correlations have had minimal attention.

Methods. All patients at the center with scoliosis of any type plus a syrinx had a detailed chart and radiologic review coupled with detailed statistical analysis.

Results. Scoliosis and syringomyelia were seen in four diagnoses: myelomeningocele, myelomeningocele with congenital scoliosis, congenital scoliosis, and scoliosis with neither congenital anomalies nor myelomeningocele. Chiari malformation and cord tethering appear to have a major relation to scoliosis with syringomyelia.

Conclusions. Anomalies of the spinal cord or spinal column coexisting with lesions of the central nervous system have significant effects on the syrinx and scoliosis. There is a significant relation between the most caudal level of the syrinx and the locations of the scoliosis.

From the *Department of Orthopaedics and Traumatology, Süleyman Demirel University, Isparta, Turkey, the

†Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Presented at the 34th SRS Annual Meeting in San Diego, CA, September 23–25, 1999.

Acknowledgment date: March 19, 2002.

First revision date: August 14, 2002.

Second revision date: November 26, 2002.

Acceptance date: November 27, 2002.

The submitted manuscript does not contain information about medical devices or drugs.

No funds were received in support of this work. No benefits in any form have been or will be received from a commercial party related directly or indirectly to the subject of this article.

Address correspondence and reprint requests to Ensor E. Transfeldt, MD, Twin Cities Spine Center, Piper Building, 913 E 26th Street, Ste 600, Minneapolis, MN 55404-4515; E-mail:

© 2003 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.