A retrospective review of 138 patients

B. Cheng, F. T. Li, L. Lin


Diastematomyelia is a rare congenital abnormality of the spinal cord. This paper summarises more than 30 years’ experience of treating this condition. Data were collected retrospectively on 138 patients with diastematomyelia (34 males, 104 females) who were treated at our hospital from May 1978 to April 2010. A total of 106 patients had double dural tubes (type 1 diastematomyelia), and 32 patients had single dural tubes (type 2 diastematomyelia). Radiographs, CT myelography, and MRI showed characteristic kyphoscoliosis, widening of the interpedicle distance, and bony, cartilaginous, and fibrous septum. The incidences of symptoms including characteristic changes of the dorsal skin, neurological disorders, and congenital spinal or foot deformity were significantly higher in type 1 than in type 2. Surgery is more effective for patients with type 1 diastematomyelia; patients without surgery showed no improvement.


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

  • Received July 1, 2011.
  • Accepted November 21, 2011.
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