Ramsis F Ghaly, Kenneth D Candido, Ruben Sauer, Nebojsa Nick Knezevic

Surgical Neurology International 2012 3(1):26-26

Background: Type I Arnold-Chiari malformation (ACM) has an adult onset and consists of a downward displacement of the cerebellar tonsils and the medulla through the foramen magnum. There is paucity of literature on the anesthetic management during pregnancy of residual ACM Type I, with cervical xyphosis and persistent syringomyelia. Case Description: A 34-year-old woman with surgically corrected ACM Type I presented for Cesarean delivery. A recent MRI demonstrated worsening of cervical xyphosis after several laminectomies and residual syringomyelia besides syringopleural shunt. Awake fiberoptic intubation was performed under generous topical anesthesia to minimize head and neck movement during endotracheal intubation. We used a multimodal general anesthesia without neuromuscular blockade. The neck was maintained in a neutral position. Following delivery, the patient completely recovered in post-anesthesia care unit (PACU), with no headache and no exacerbation or worsening of neurological function. Conclusions: The present case demonstrates that patients with partially corrected ACM, syringomyelia, cervical kyphosis, and difficult intubation undergoing Cesarean delivery require an interdisciplinary team approach, diligent preparation, and skilled physicians.