what is the best choice in patients with Chiari type 1 malformation?
The best surgical treatment for Chiari malformation is unclear, especially in patients with syringomyelia. We reviewed the records of 16 patients who underwent suboccipital craniectomy at our institution between 2005 and 2008. Of the six patients who did not undergo duraplasty, four showed improvement postoperatively. Two patients without syringomyelia showed improvement postoperatively. Of the four patients with syringomyelia, three showed improvement, including two with a decrease in the cavity size. One patient showed improvement in symptoms but the syringomyelia was unchanged. The cavity size increased in the one patient who did not show improvement. Among the 10 patients who underwent duraplasty, improvements were noted in four of the five patients without syringomyelia and in all of the five with syringomyelia. There is a suggestion that patients with syringomyelia may have a higher likelihood of improvement after undergoing duraplasty.