Severe holocord syrinx in a child with megalencephaly-capillary malformation syndrome

Devorah Segal, Robert F. Heary, Sanjeev Sabharwal, Maureen T. Barry, Xue Ming

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Scopus citations


The authors present the case of a child with megalencephaly-capillary malformation syndrome who developed a rapidly progressive holocord syringomyelia that was treated surgically. A 3-year-old boy with megalencephaly-capillary malformation-polymicrogyria (MCAP) syndrome presented with several months of right leg weakness, worsening scoliosis, and increased seizures. An MRI study of the brain demonstrated a Chiari I malformation and massively dilated syringomyelia extending from C-2 to the conus medullaris. The patient underwent an urgent suboccipital craniectomy with C1-3 laminectomies to relieve the CSF outflow obstruction with significant clinical improvement. Surgery was complicated by bleeding from intracranial vascular malformations. This report describes a very rapidly developing, massive holocord syringomyelia related to CSF obstruction due to an unusual congenital brain malformation and associated vascular overgrowth at the site. Serial, premorbid MRI studies demonstrated the very rapid progression from no Chiari malformation, to progressively greater cerebellar tonsillar herniation, to holocord syrinx. This complication has never been reported in MCAP syndrome and should be considered in any affected MCAP patient with a progressive neurological decline, even if previous spine imaging findings were normal. Surgical complications due to hemorrhage also need to be considered in this vascular brain malformation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)79-82
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Neurosurgery: Pediatrics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Surgery
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Clinical Neurology


  • Chiari I malformation
  • Congenital
  • MCAP
  • Macrocephaly-cutis marmorata telangiectasia congenita
  • Megalencephaly-capillary malformation syndrome
  • Syringomyelia

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