Quality of life of children treated for split cord malformation

Document Type





Objective: Split cord malformation (SCM), associated with neurologic deficits, necessitates surgical intervention for spinal cord detethering. Limited evidence exists regarding its impact on children's quality of life. Our study aims to evaluate the postoperative quality of life in children treated for SCM.
Methods: This retrospective cohort study examined records of patients with SCM operated on between July 1, 2012, and July 31, 2022, at a single center. Data, including Health Utility Index-3 (HUI-3) scores provided by guardians, was collected to assess quality of life. Clinical and neurologic outcomes were also analyzed.
Results: Twenty-five patients, predominantly female (68%), with a median age of 7 years, were included. Most presented with normal motor function (76%). The most common anatomic level of SCM was lumbar (12; 48%) followed by lumbosacral (5; 20%). A bony spur from the lamina was the most common cause of splitting the cord (64%). Over a median follow-up of 3.3 years, 64% of patients showed neurologic stability, 16% showed neurologic improvement, and 4% experienced deterioration. The mean HUI-3 score for 21 children was 0.93 ± 0.24.
Conclusions: Surgical management of SCM showed favorable neurologic outcomes and a positive long-term quality of life, as shown by HUI-3 scores. Our findings emphasize the efficacy of surgical intervention in improving the lives of children with this condition.


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Publication (Name of Journal)

World Neurosurgery