Incidence of symptomatic tethered spinal cord in pediatric patients presenting with neurofbromatosis types 1 and 2

Carolyn S. Quinsey, Katie Krause, Lissa C. Baird, Christina M. Sayama, Nathan R. Selden

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE The relationship between a tethered cord (TC) and neurofbromatosis type 1 (NF1) and NF2 is not known. The purpose of this study was to defne the incidence of TC in pediatric neurosurgical patients who present with NF. METHODS The authors performed a single-institution (tertiary care pediatric hospital) 10-year retrospective analysis of patients who were diagnosed with or who underwent surgery for a TC and/or NF. Clinical and radiological characteristics were analyzed, as was histopathology. RESULTS A total of 424 patients underwent surgery for a TC during the study period, and 67 patients with NF were seen in the pediatric neurosurgery clinic. Of these 67 patients, 9 (13%) were diagnosed with a TC, and flum lysis surgery was recommended. Among the 9 patients with NF recommended for TC-release surgery, 4 (44%) were female, the mean age was 8 years (range 4-14 years), the conus position ranged from L1-2 to L-3, and 3 (33%) had a flum lipoma, defned as high signal intensity on T1-weighted MR images. All 9 of these patients presented with neuromotor, skeletal, voiding, and/or pain-related symptoms. Histopathological examination consistently revealed dense fbroconnective tissue and blood vessels. CONCLUSIONS Despite the lack of any known pathophysiological relationship between NF and TC, the incidence of a symptomatic TC in patients with NF1 and NF2 who presented for any reason to this tertiary care pediatric neurosurgery clinic was 13%. Counseling patients and families regarding TC symptomatology might be indicated in this patient population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)456-459
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Neurosurgery: Pediatrics
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2018


  • Filum lipoma
  • Neurofibromatosis
  • Pediatric
  • Spine
  • Tethered cord

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


Dive into the research topics of 'Incidence of symptomatic tethered spinal cord in pediatric patients presenting with neurofbromatosis types 1 and 2'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this