Global Spine J 2014; 04(04): 217-222
DOI: 10.1055/s-0034-1382289
Original Article
Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York

Cervical Spinal Cord Dimensions and Clinical Outcomes in Adults with Klippel-Feil Syndrome: A Comparison with Matched Controls

Woojin Cho1, Dong-Ho Lee2, Joshua D. Auerbach3, Jennifer K. Sehn3, Colin E. Nabb3, K. Daniel Riew3
  • 1Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, New York, United States
  • 2Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea
  • 3Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, Missouri, United States
Further Information

Publication History

24 December 2013

20 May 2014

Publication Date:
23 July 2014 (eFirst)


Study Design Retrospective case–control study.

Objectives To confirm the fact that spinal cord dimensions are smaller in adults with Klippel-Feil syndrome (KFS) than in pediatric patients with KFS and to compare the clinical characteristics and outcomes of neurologic complications in patients with KFS with matched controls.

Methods We performed an independent 1:2 case–control retrospective radiographic and chart review of a consecutive series of adults with KFS who underwent surgical intervention. The control group consisted of consecutive non-KFS surgical patients. Patients were matched in 1:2 case–control manner. Their charts were reviewed and the clinical characteristics were compared. Axial T2-weighted magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) was used to measure the anteroposterior and mediolateral axial spinal cord and spinal canal at the operative levels and measurements were compared.

Results A total of 22 patients with KFS and 44 controls were identified. The KFS group had a tendency of more myeloradiculopathy, and the control group had a tendency toward more radiculopathy. Both tendencies, however, were not significantly different. MRIs of 10 patients from the KFS group and 22 controls were available. There was no difference in the area of both spinal cord and canal at the operative levels.

Conclusion Contrary to the finding in previous reports on pediatric patients, there were no differences between KFS and well-matched control groups in terms of age of onset, presentation, revision rate, complication rate, surgical outcome, and cross-sectional spinal cord and canal dimensions at the operative level.