alexa Electromyography and A Review of the Literature Provide Insights into the Role of Sacral Perineural Cysts in Unexplained Chronic Pelvic, Perineal and Leg Pain Syndromes | Abstract
ISSN: 2329-9096

International Journal of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation
Open Access

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Research Article

Electromyography and A Review of the Literature Provide Insights into the Role of Sacral Perineural Cysts in Unexplained Chronic Pelvic, Perineal and Leg Pain Syndromes

Mieke Hulens1*, Frans Bruyninckx2, Alix Somers3, Ingeborg Stalmans3, Benjamin Peersman4, Greet Vansant5, Ricky Rasschaert6, Peter De Mulder7 and Wim Dankaerts1

1Department of Rehabilitation Sciences, Faculty of Kinesiology and Rehabilitation Sciences, Musculoskeletal Rehabilitation Research Unit, University of Leuven, Belgium

2Clinical Electromyography Laboratory, University Hospitals, Leuven, Belgium

3Department of Neurosciences, Ophthalmology Research Group, University of Leuven (KU Leuven), and Department of Ophthalmology, University Hospitals UZ Leuven, Herestraat 49, 3000 Leuven, Belgium

4Department of Radiology, Regional Hospital, Tienen, Belgium

5Department of Social and Primary Health Care, Public Health Nutrition, University of Leuven, Belgium

6Department of Neurosurgery, ZNA Middelheim Antwerpen, Belgium

7Department of Pain Therapy, Imelda Hospital, Bonheiden, Belgium

*Corresponding Author:
Mieke Hulens
Department of Rehabilitation Sciences
Faculty of Kinesiology and Rehabilitation Sciences
Musculoskeletal Rehabilitation Research Unit
University of Leuven, Overwegstraat 14
3051 Sint-Joris-Weert, Belgium
Tel: +32-478-338003
Fax: +32-16-470559
E-mail: [email protected]

Received Date: April 25, 2017; Accepted Date: May 16, 2017; Published Date: May 18, 2017

Citation: Hulens M, Bruyninckx F, Somers A, Stalmans I, Peersman B, et al. (2017) Electromyography and A Review of the Literature Provide Insights into the Role of Sacral Perineural Cysts in Unexplained Chronic Pelvic, Perineal and Leg Pain Syndromes. Int J Phys Med Rehabil 5:407. doi: 10.4172/2329-9096.1000407

Copyright: © 2017 Hulens M, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


Objective: The clinical entity “Symptomatic Tarlov Cysts” is a highly under reported condition. We aimed to perform an electrophysiologic evaluation in patients with Tarlov cysts to determine whether the cysts create electrical abnormalities that could translate into clinical symptoms. The findings are correlated with the data currently available in the literature.

Methods: Thirty patients with unexplained pelvic, sacral, perineal and/or leg pain who harbored small and/or large Tarlov cysts were selected at an outpatient clinic for physical medicine in musculoskeletal disorders. An MRI of the lumbosacral spine of each patient was reviewed. An experienced physiatrist acquired information related to pain and paresthesia in addition to bladder, bowel and sphincter symptoms. An expert electrophysiologist performed nerve conduction and electromyography studies on the patient’s legs and the pelvic floor.

A review of the case reports on Tarlov cysts was performed. The symptoms of the patients in the study were compared with the symptoms reported in reviews and case reports.

Results: In all cases, the presence of Tarlov cysts was associated with sensory neuron symptoms, such as pain and paresthesia, and with bladder, bowel, sexual, and/or sphincter complaints. In all cases, electromyography documented axonal damage in multiple lumbar and sacral nerve root myotomes.

Conclusion: Symptomatic Tarlov cysts clinically and electrophysiologically represent a progressive chronic cauda equine syndrome. In patients with intractable sacral, perineal, pelvic or leg pain, symptomatic Tarlov cysts should be included in the differential diagnosis.


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