Other clinical trials
June 2010 -Study type: Observational
Background: - Syringomyelia is a disorder in which a cyst (syrinx) forms within the spinal cord and causes spinal cord injury, with symptoms worsening over many years, including paralysis, loss of sensation, and chronic pain. Researchers are interested in obtaining more knowledge about how a syrinx forms in order to develop safer and more effective treatments for syringomyelia and related conditions. - The goal of surgical treatment of syringomyelia is to eliminate the syrinx and prevent further spinal cord injury. In most patients, surgery results in the syrinx becoming smaller, but the effect of surgery on a patient s muscle strength, pain level, and overall function has not been studied over time. In addition, some individuals with syringomyelia or related conditions are not considered to be good candidates for surgery, and more information is needed about potential alternative treatments for these individuals. - By recording more than 5 years of symptoms, muscle strength, general level of functioning, and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan findings from individuals who receive standard treatment for syringomyelia, researchers can obtain more information about factors that influence its development, progression, and relief of symptoms. Objectives: - To conduct a 5-year natural history study of individuals with syringomyelia and related conditions. Eligibility: - Individuals at least 18 years of age who have syringomyelia or related conditions (including pre-syringomyelia or Chiari I malformation without syringomyelia). Design: - This study requires 7 outpatient visits to the National Institutes of Health Clinical Center: an initial visit; a visit 3 months later; and visits 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 years after the initial visit. An additional 10 days of inpatient treatment and testing will be required if surgery is needed during the study. - The following tests will be performed during this study: - Medical history and physical examination, which may also determine eligibility for surgery - Detailed neurological history and examination - Blood and urine samples - MRI scans: Participants will have 2 scans at the initial evaluation, 2 scans at the 3-month visit, and 1 scan every year for the following 5 years. - Additional neurological and imaging tests if needed, including a lumbar puncture to collect spinal fluid, a myelogram (imaging study) of the spinal fluid, and a computed tomography scan of the skull and spine. - Participants who are surgical candidates will have additional tests along with the surgery, including diagnostic studies (electrocardiogram and chest X-ray) before surgery and an MRI scan 1 week after surgery. Sponsor: National Institutes of Health Clinical Center (CC)
February 2001 - May 2011Study type: Observational
The goal of this study is to establish the mechanism(s) of progression of primarily spinal syringomyelia (PSS). Our preliminary study of syringomyelia emphasized syringomyelia associated with craniocervical junction abnormalities (CCJAS), such as the Chiari I malformation. This new protocol will expand the scope of our investigation to include primarily spinal syringomyelia (PSS), which is defined as syringomyelia not associated with craniocervical junction abnormalities (CCJAS). Etiologies of primarily spinal syringomyelia include 1) intradural scarring which is post-traumatic, post-inflammatory, or post-operative, 2) intradural-extramedullary masses such as arachnoid cysts or meningiomas, and 3) extramedullary-extradural spinal lesions such as cervical spondylosis or spinal deformity. Our hypothesis is the following: Primarily spinal syringomyelia (PSS), results from obstruction of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) flow within the spinal subarachnoid space; this obstruction affects spinal CSF dynamics because the spinal subarachnoid space accepts the fluid that is displaced from the intracranial subarachnoid space as the brain expands during cardiac systole; in the case of primarily spinal syringomyelia (PSS), a subarachnoid block effectively shortens the spinal subarachnoid space, reducing CSF compliance and the capacity of the spinal theca to dampen the subarachnoid CSF pressure waves produced by the brain expansion during cardiac systole; the exaggerated spinal subarachnoid pressure waves occur with every heartbeat and act on the spinal cord above the block to drive CSF into the spinal cord and create a syrinx. Presyringomyelia, a recently described state of spinal cord edema associated with progressive myelopathy and obstruction in CSF flow, is a precursor stage to syringomyelia that is consistent with this hypothesis. Because of the importance of this condition to the pathophysiology of syringomyelia, we will also study patients with presyringomyelia in this protocol. After a syrinx is formed, the enlarged subarachnoid pressure waves compress the external surface of the spinal cord, propel the syrinx fluid, and promote syrinx progression. Many neurosurgeons at prominent academic centers routinely use syrinx shunts to treat primarily spinal syringomyelia. This study should provide data that a surgical procedure that opens the spinal subarachnoid space corrects the underlying pathophysiology and resolves the syrinx and that invasion of the spinal cord is unnecessary. Sponsor: National Institutes of Health Clinical Center (CC)
February 2000 -Study type: Observational
The purpose of this study is to better understand the genetic factors related to the Chiari I malformation. In people with this abnormality, the lower part of the skull is smaller than normal. As a result, the lowest part of the brain, called the cerebellar tonsils, protrudes out of the hole at the bottom of the skull into the spinal canal. This study will try to discover the location of the genes responsible for the malformation. Candidates for this study are: 1) Patients with Chiari I malformation who also have a family member with the abnormality or a family member with syringomyelia (a cyst in the spinal cord that is often associated with the Chiari I malformation). 2) Family members of patients with the Chiari I malformation. Participants will have a medical history and physical and neurologic examinations. They will undergo magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the brain and cervical (neck) spinal cord to measure the size of the head and determine the presence of the Chiari I malformation and syringomyelia. A small blood sample (about 2 tablespoons) will be drawn for DNA studies relating to the Chiari I malformation. Sponsor: National Institutes of Health Clinical Center (CC)
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