Intrathoracic meningocele associated with neurofibromatosis Type 1 and a novel technique for surgical repair: Case report

Paramita Das, Tarini Goyal, Matthew A. Hunt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Neurofibromatosis Type 1 (NF1) is a neurocutaneous disorder that can have associated spinal abnormalities related to both bone and dural dysplasia. Thoracic meningoceles are one spine anomaly associated with NF1, although they are a fairly uncommon pathology. Surgical techniques to treat these meningoceles, usually undertaken only when the patient is symptomatic, are targeted at decreasing the size of the protrusion and improving lung capacity. Surgical interventions discussed in the literature include shunting the pseudomeningocele, primary repair with laminectomy, thoracoscopic plication, and reinforcement of the closure with cement, muscle, or fascia. Authors here report the case of a 43-yearold woman with NF1 with worsening pulmonary function tests and in whom shunting of the pseudomeningocele failed. Subsequently, a posterolateral thoracotomy was performed. The dura mater was reconstructed and primarily closed. On this closure a Gore-Tex soft-tissue patch was placed along with polypropylene mesh and Evicel fibrin sealant, followed by titanium mesh. At the end of the procedure, a chest tube was left in place and therapeutic pneumoperitoneum was performed to decrease the dead space as the lung did not fully expand with positive-pressure ventilation. The patient's pulmonary function tests improved after the procedure. Thoracic meningoceles are uncommon and difficult pathologies to treat surgically. Although shunting is arguably the least invasive surgical option, it can fail in some patients. When it does fail, there are other options that require a multidisciplinary approach and careful attention to the dural closure and reinforcing layers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)291-294
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Neurosurgery: Spine
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© AANS, 2017.


  • Dural ectasia
  • Neurofibromatosis Type 1
  • Surgical technique
  • Thoracic meningocele


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