Background: The treatment of type 1 Chiari malformation (CM-1) with posterior fossa decompression without (PFD) or with duraplasty (PFDD) is controversial. The authors analyze both options in a national sample of pediatric patients. Methods: Utilizing the Kids' Inpatient Database, CM-1 patients undergoing PFD or PFDD from 2000 through 2009 were analyzed. Results: 1,593 patients with PFD and 1,056 with PFDD were evaluated. The average age was 10.3 years, slightly younger in PFD (9.8 vs. 10.9 years, p = 0.001). PFDD patients were more likely White (81.2 vs 75.6%, p = 0.04) and less likely admitted emergently (8.4 vs. 13.8%, p = 0.007). They also underwent more reoperations (2.1 vs. 0.7%, p = 0.01), had more procedure-related complications (2.3 vs. 0.8%, p = 0.003), a longer length of stay (4.4 vs. 3.8 days, p = 0.001) and higher charges (USD 35,321 vs. 31,483, p = 0.01). Conclusions: This large national study indicates that PFDD is performed more often in Caucasians, less so emergently, and associated with significantly more complications and immediate reoperations, while PFD is more frequent in those with syringomyelia and more economical, requiring fewer hospital resources. Overall, PFD is more favorable for CM-1, though it would be prudent to conduct a prospective trial, as this analysis is limited by data on preoperative presentations and long-term outcomes.
- Chiari malformation
- Posterior fossa decompression
- Surgical treatment
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Clinical Neurology