Fracture-dislocations of the sacrum. Report of three cases.
The pattern of fracture-dislocation of the upper part of the sacrum is demonstrated in three patients. The fracture line followed the segmental form of the sacrum and was usually caused by a posterior force against the pelvis which had been locked by hip flexion and knee extension. Fractures of the lumbar transverse processes also occurred, presumably from avulsion by the quadratus lumborum muscle. The damage to the sacral plexus found in all three cases recovered after several months. Radiographs of the injury are difficult to obtain in severely injured patients but oblique views of the sacrum help to determine the extent of the forward dislocation. (+info)
A genetic study of the human T gene and its exclusion as a major candidate gene for sacral agenesis with anorectal atresia.
Sacral agenesis is a heterogeneous group of congenital anomalies in which most cases are sporadic but rare familial forms also occur. Although one gene has been mapped to chromosome 7q36 in families with hemisacrum, associated with anorectal atresia and presacral mass, it is clear that the genetic aetiology of these disorders is complex and other genes remain to be discovered. Some years ago, the idea of T (Brachyury) as a candidate gene for sacral agenesis was raised, because tail abnormalities associated with T and the t complex, on mouse chromosome 17, resemble spinal defects seen in man. The recent cloning and mapping of the human T gene prompted us to re-evaluate this idea. T is a transcription factor essential for the normal development of posterior mesodermal structures. Although the sequence and function of T are highly conserved in evolution, our genetic study shows that the coding region of the human gene is highly polymorphic. Three common variable amino acid sites in known functional domains have been identified: Gly356Ser, Asn369Ser, and Gly177Asp. For the latter variant, functional studies have shown that the presence of Asp at residue 177 reduces the stability of T dimer formation. A search for rare mutation of T in 28 selected patients with sacral agenesis/anorectal atresia identified a novel, rare variant in one patient and her mother. This mutation leads to an amino acid change within a conserved activation domain. While the functional significance of this single mutation requires further investigation, we can conclude from our studies that if T has a role in the aetiology of sacral agenesis, its contribution is small in this particular set of patients. However, we cannot exclude a more major role in other forms of sacral defect. (+info)
Segmental spinal dysgenesis: neuroradiologic findings with clinical and embryologic correlation.
BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Segmental spinal dysgenesis (SSD) is a rare congenital abnormality in which a segment of the spine and spinal cord fails to develop properly. Our goal was to investigate the neuroradiologic features of this condition in order to correlate our findings with the degree of residual spinal cord function, and to provide insight into the embryologic origin of this disorder. We also aimed to clarify the relationship between SSD and other entities, such as multiple vertebral segmentation defects, congenital vertebral displacement, and caudal regression syndrome (CRS). METHODS: The records of patients treated at our institutions for congenital spinal anomalies were reviewed, and 10 cases were found to satisfy the inclusion criteria for SSD. Plain radiographs were available for review in all cases. MR imaging was performed in eight patients, one of whom also underwent conventional myelography. Two other patients underwent only conventional myelography. RESULTS: Segmental vertebral anomalies involved the thoracolumbar, lumbar, or lumbosacral spine. The spinal cord at the level of the abnormality was thinned or even indiscernible, and a bulky, low-lying cord segment was present caudad to the focal abnormality in most cases. Closed spinal dysraphisms were associated in five cases, and partial sacrococcygeal agenesis in three. Renal anomalies were detected in four cases, and dextrocardia in one; all patients had a neurogenic bladder. CONCLUSION: SSD is an autonomous entity with characteristic clinical and neuroradiologic features; however, SSD and CRS probably represent two faces of a single spectrum of segmental malformations of the spine and spinal cord. The neuroradiologic picture depends on the severity of the malformation and on its segmental level along the longitudinal embryonic axis. The severity of the morphologic derangement correlates with residual spinal cord function and with severity of the clinical deficit. (+info)
Ochronotic arthropathy: case report and review of the literature.
Alkoptonuria is an inherited metabolic disorder which is associated with various systemic abnormalities and related to the deposition of homogentisic acid pigment in connective tissues. These pigmentary changes are termed "ochronosis". We describe two patients with ochronotic arthropathy who presented with progressive and advanced degenerative changes in the lumbo-sacral spine. The literature, differential diagnosis and management of this rare condition are reviewed in this article. Management is usually conservative, but replacement surgery may be offered for severely affected major joints. (+info)
Protracted elevation of neuronal nitric oxide synthase immunoreactivity in axotomised adult pudendal motor neurons.
Neuronal nitric oxide synthase immunoreactivity (NOS1-ir) in sacral motor neurons of normal adult cats was compared with that in cats surviving 1-10 wk after unilateral transection and ligation of the pudendal nerve. Levels of immunostaining were measured by microdensitometry. In nonoperated cats 60% of motor neurons in the ventrolateral nucleus (VL) and Onuf's nucleus (ON) showed high levels of NOS1-ir with lower NOS1-ir in 40%. Following axotomy, motor neurons in ON on both sides of the cord showed an acute rise in mean level of NOS1-ir at 1 wk, with a further increase at 2 wk. Mean levels of NOS1-ir in the ipsilateral and contralateral ON remained elevated at 10 wk after axotomy. Elevation of NOS1-ir occurred in the VL with a similar time-course to that in ON, implying a wider response in motor nuclei synaptically coupled to ON. Measurements of neuronal size in ON and VL revealed an increase in neuronal size in ON but not VL, indicating increased NOSI-ir in ON was not an artifact of neuronal atrophy. The proportion of motor neurons in ON and VL possessing higher levels of NOS1-ir increased from 60% in controls to 100% at 2-3 wk postaxotomy. The proportion slightly declined by 8 wk due to re-emergence of motor neurons exhibiting low NOS1-ir, but remained greater than normal at 10 wk in both nuclei. Based on evidence from related analyses of synaptology, we argue that acute axotomy induced alterations in presynaptic complement which increased overall Ca2+ influx and thereby stimulated NOS1-ir. (+info)
Magnetic resonance imaging in the diagnosis of sacral stress fracture.
Low back and buttock pain in athletes can be a source of frustration for the athlete and a diagnostic dilemma for the doctor. Sacral stress fractures have been increasingly recognised as a potential cause of these symptoms. As plain radiographs are often normal and the radiation load of an isotope bone scan is substantial, the alternative use of magnetic resonance imaging in the diagnosis of a sacral stress fracture is highlighted in this case report. (+info)
Spinal sonography and magnetic resonance imaging in patients with repaired myelomeningocele: comparison of modalities.
The goals of this study were to evaluate the feasibility of using ultrasonography of the spine in the follow-up evaluation of patients with repaired myelomeningocele at birth and to compare sonography with the accepted modality of magnetic resonance imaging. Over a period of 4 years we performed 165 sonographic studies in 101 patients; 107 sonographic studies had MR imaging results for comparison. We collected our data prospectively. The quality of the sonograms was good in 110 of 129 studies, acceptable in 17 of 129, and poor in two of 129. The sonographic examinations failed in 33 of 165 studies (20%). Concordant information was obtained between ultrasonography and magnetic resonance imaging in the following percentage of studies: level of the distal end of the cord in 82%, position of the cord in the canal in 59%, presence of hydromyelia in 63%, cord duplication in 96%, adhesions in 16%, intradural mass in 37%, cord measurements in 85%, and dural sac measurements in 83%. At the lumbosacral level, we saw no cord pulsation in 57% of the studies in patients with cord adhesions and in 20% of those without adhesions. At the lower thoracic level, we saw no pulsation in 35% of the studies in patients with cord adhesions and in 7% of those without adhesions. Postoperative studies of cord release surgery in eight patients showed varied findings. We conclude that in those patients who have a spinal defect or interlaminar space allowing proper visualization of the lumbosacral spinal canal, ultrasound can provide fairly similar information to that obtained with magnetic resonance imaging of that area with no need for sedation and at a reduced cost. Ultrasonography seems more sensitive than magnetic resonance imaging in the detection of cord adhesions, which is particularly relevant in the diagnosis of tethering. (+info)
Traumatic transverse fracture of sacrum with cauda equina injury--a case report and review of literature.
Fractures of the sacrum are rare and generally associated with fracture of the pelvis. Transverse fractures of the sacrum are even less frequent and neurological deficit may accompany these fractures. A case of transverse fracture sacrum with cauda equina injury treated by sacral laminectomy and root decompression, is reported. (+info)