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Study and Surgical Treatment of Syringomyelia

This study has been completed.
Sponsor:
Information provided by:
National Institutes of Health Clinical Center (CC)
ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier:
NCT00011245
First received: February 14, 2001
Last updated: May 19, 2011
Last verified: May 2011
  Purpose

The goal of this study is to establish the mechanism(s) of progression of primarily spinal syringomyelia (PSS). Our preliminary study of syringomyelia emphasized syringomyelia associated with craniocervical junction abnormalities (CCJAS), such as the Chiari I malformation. This new protocol will expand the scope of our investigation to include primarily spinal syringomyelia (PSS), which is defined as syringomyelia not associated with craniocervical junction abnormalities (CCJAS). Etiologies of primarily spinal syringomyelia include 1) intradural scarring which is post-traumatic, post-inflammatory, or post-operative, 2) intradural-extramedullary masses such as arachnoid cysts or meningiomas, and 3) extramedullary-extradural spinal lesions such as cervical spondylosis or spinal deformity.

Our hypothesis is the following: Primarily spinal syringomyelia (PSS), results from obstruction of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) flow within the spinal subarachnoid space; this obstruction affects spinal CSF dynamics because the spinal subarachnoid space accepts the fluid that is displaced from the intracranial subarachnoid space as the brain expands during cardiac systole; in the case of primarily spinal syringomyelia (PSS), a subarachnoid block effectively shortens the spinal subarachnoid space, reducing CSF compliance and the capacity of the spinal theca to dampen the subarachnoid CSF pressure waves produced by the brain expansion during cardiac systole; the exaggerated spinal subarachnoid pressure waves occur with every heartbeat and act on the spinal cord above the block to drive CSF into the spinal cord and create a syrinx. Presyringomyelia, a recently described state of spinal cord edema associated with progressive myelopathy and obstruction in CSF flow, is a precursor stage to syringomyelia that is consistent with this hypothesis. Because of the importance of this condition to the pathophysiology of syringomyelia, we will also study patients with presyringomyelia in this protocol. After a syrinx is formed, the enlarged subarachnoid pressure waves compress the external surface of the spinal cord, propel the syrinx fluid, and promote syrinx progression.

Many neurosurgeons at prominent academic centers routinely use syrinx shunts to treat primarily spinal syringomyelia. This study should provide data that a surgical procedure that opens the spinal subarachnoid space corrects the underlying pathophysiology and resolves the syrinx and that invasion of the spinal cord is unnecessary.


Condition
Syringomyelia

Study Type: Observational
Official Title: Establishing the Pathophysiology of Primary Spinal Syringomyelia

Resource links provided by NLM:


Further study details as provided by National Institutes of Health Clinical Center (CC):

Enrollment: 50
Study Start Date: February 2001
Estimated Study Completion Date: May 2011
Detailed Description:

Objective: The goal of this study is to establish the mechanism(s) of progression of primarily spinal syringomyelia (PSS), the type of syringomyelia that is associated with pathology in the spinal column and not at the craniocervical junction. Our hypothesis is that when a lesion obstructs the spinal subarachnoid space, it shortens the segment of spinal canal that dampens the CSF pressure waves that are produced with each heartbeat and creates enlarged spinal subarachnoid pressure waves that act on the spinal cord above the block to drive CSF into the spinal cord and create a syrinx. After a syrinx is formed, enlarged subarachnoid pressure waves compress the external surface of the spinal cord, propel the syrinx fluid, and promote syrinx progression.

Study Population: Subjects will have primary spinal syringomyelia associated with 1) intradural scarring which is post-traumatic, post-inflammatory, or post-operative, 2) intradural-extramedullary masses such as arachnoid cysts or meningiomas, and 3) extramedullary-extradural spinal lesions such as cervical spondylosis or spinal deformity, or 4) an intramedullary tumor.

Design: Subjects will have testing before and after standard surgical therapy of syringomyelia. Testing includes measurement of CSF pressure, neurologic examination, CT-myelography, and MR scanning. Results of CSF pressure measurements before surgery will be compared to measurements from normal controls that were previously studied. The effect of surgery on CSF pressure, neurologic examination, CT-myelography, and MRI scans will be evaluated.

Outcome Measures: The primary outcome measure is cervical CSF pulse pressure, which is the amplitude of the CSF pressure wave, compared to normal values. Secondary outcomes measures include change in CSF pulse pressure, neurologic examination, CT-myelography, and MRI scans between before and after surgery.

  Eligibility

Ages Eligible for Study:   18 Years and older
Genders Eligible for Study:   Both
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No
Criteria
  • INCLUSION CRITERIA:

To be eligible to participate in this research study, the subject must:

Be 18 years of age or older.

Have syringomyelia documented by MRI.

Have evidence of neurological deterioration related to syringomyelia or spinal cord tumor. Prior surgery for syringomyelia does not result in exclusion from study.

Be able to comprehend the risks of testing and therapy and to give informed consent.

EXCLUSION CRITERIA:

Subjects will not eligible to participate in this research study if:

They are pregnant (because X-rays might injure a fetus).

They cannot have an MRI scan as determined by a radiologist.

They have a problem with bleeding that cannot be corrected.

They are unable to understand the risks of the testing and surgical therapy.

Their blood test for HIV (the virus that causes AIDS) is positive, because a positive HIV test would increase your risk of infection from research testing.

They have syringomyelia which developed after meningitis, because we have found that laminectomy and duroplasty is ineffective in this setting

  Contacts and Locations
Choosing to participate in a study is an important personal decision. Talk with your doctor and family members or friends about deciding to join a study. To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the Contacts provided below. For general information, see Learn About Clinical Studies.

Please refer to this study by its ClinicalTrials.gov identifier: NCT00011245

Locations
United States, Maryland
National Institutes of Health Clinical Center, 9000 Rockville Pike
Bethesda, Maryland, United States, 20892
Sponsors and Collaborators
  More Information

Publications:
ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT00011245     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: 010085, 01-N-0085
Study First Received: February 14, 2001
Last Updated: May 19, 2011
Health Authority: United States: Federal Government

Keywords provided by National Institutes of Health Clinical Center (CC):
Arachnoiditis
Spinal Syringomyelia
Spinal Cord Edema
Myelography
Intraoperative Ultrasonography
Magnetic Resonance
CSF Pressure
Trauma
Meningitis
Paralysis
Spondylosis
Presyringomyelia
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
Intraoperative Radiation
Ultrasonography

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Syringomyelia
Spinal Cord Diseases
Central Nervous System Diseases
Nervous System Diseases

ClinicalTrials.gov processed this record on September 22, 2014