alexa A detailed morphologic and functional magnetic resonance imaging study of the craniocervical junction in adolescent idiopathic scoliosis.


Journal of Spine

Author(s): Chu WC, Man GC, Lam WW, Yeung BH, Chau WW,

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Abstract STUDY DESIGN: Conventional and phase-contrast magnetic resonance (MR) imaging were used to evaluate the morphology and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) flow dynamics at craniocervical junction in adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS). OBJECTIVES: To determine the morphology of cerebellar tonsil, foramen magnum, and dynamic flow of CSF at the craniocervical junction in AIS patients versus normal controls and their correlation with somatosensory cortical evoked potentials (SSEP). SUMMARY OF BACKGROUND DATA: Previous studies have documented obstructed CSF flow in patients with Chiari I malformation. Low-lying cerebellar tonsils and syringomyelia are also observed in AIS patients. We sought to investigate whether disturbed CSF flow is also evident in AIS subjects at the foramen magnum level and its association with level of cerebellar tonsils and dimensions of foramen magnum. METHODS: Conventional and phase-contrast MR were performed in 105 adolescent girls (69 AIS subjects and 36 age-matched controls). Measurements of cerebellar tonsillar level related to the basion-opsithion (BO) line, anteroposterior (AP), transverse (TS) diameter, and area of foramen magnum, and peak velocity of CSF flow in both the anterior and posterior subarachnoid space through foramen magnum were obtained. Correlations were made among different parameters and SSEP findings. RESULTS: A total of 42\% of subjects in the AIS group had the cerebellar tonsillar tip positioned 1 mm below the BO line. The cerebellar tonsillar level in AIS subjects was significantly lower than the median tonsillar level in normal controls (P < 0.01). The AP diameter and area of foramen magnum were significantly larger in AIS subjects when compared with normal controls (P < 0.05), but the peak CSF velocities through foramen magnum showed no significant difference (P > 0.05). CONCLUSION: Peak CSF velocities through foramen magnum were not significantly different in AIS subjects despite the presence of low-lying cerebellar tonsils. This might be explained by the compensatory effect of larger foramen magnum in AIS subjects. This article was published in Spine (Phila Pa 1976) and referenced in Journal of Spine

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