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Year : 2012  |  Volume : 7  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 85-89

Congenital spinal lipomas: Role of prophylactic surgery

Department of Neurosurgery, Cardioneurosciences Centre, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Ansari Nagar, New Delhi, India

Correspondence Address:
Ashok K Mahapatra
Department of Neurosurgery, Cardioneurosciences Centre, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Ansari Nagar, New Delhi
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/1817-1745.102562

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Introduction: Congenital spinal lipomas constitute an important group of lesions causing tethered cord syndrome. Management of these lesions is challenging and role of prophylactic surgery for these lesions is still controversial. Hence, current study was undertaken with the aim to evaluate the role of prophylactic surgery in the management of these lesions. Materials and Methods: A total of 147 consecutive patients, treated over a period of 10 years (January 2001-December 2010), are retrospectively analyzed. Results: In our study, 93 patients had conus lipomas, 26 had filum lipomas and 28 had only lipomeningomyelocele. Boys and girls were almost equally represented. The age of patients at the time of surgery ranged from 15 days to 34 years with an average of 62 months (5.2 years). Neurological deficits were present in 101 (68) patients. The patients with neurological deficits were older in comparison to those neurologically intact (average age 6.2 versus 2.8 years, respectively). Difference in age between the two groups was statistically significant (P value 0.03). Neurological deterioration was observed in 8 (5) patients following surgery, out of which six patients developed transient deterioration and only two, had persisting deficits. None of the neurologically asymptomatic patients developed persistent neurological deficits. In the symptomatic group, nine patients (9) showed improvement in neurological status after surgery. Conclusions: In author's view, prophylactic surgery for congenital spinal lipomas is safe and effective. However, a well designed randomized controlled trial, to definitely and objectively prove the usefulness of prophylactic surgery is needed.


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