Lipomyelomeningocele: Pathology, Treatment, and Outcomes

A Review

Christina E. Sarris, B.S; Krystal L. Tomei, M.D., M.P.H; Peter W. Carmel, M.D; Chirag D. Gandhi, M.D.


Neurosurg Focus. 2012;33(4):e3 

In This Article

Abstract and Introduction


Lipomyelomeningocele represents a rare but complex neurological disorder that may present with neurological deterioration secondary to an inherent tethered spinal cord. Radiological testing is beneficial in determining the morphology of the malformation. Specialized testing such as urodynamic studies and neurophysiological testing may be beneficial in assessing for neurological dysfunction secondary to the lipomyelomeningocele. Early surgical intervention may be beneficial in preventing further neurological decline.


Lipomyelomeningocele lies within the spectrum of closed neural tube defects. It represents a complex disorder that may present with neurological deficits secondary to the inherent tethered cord. Treatment strategies vary with subtype, neurological function, and goals of surgery. We present a review of lipomyelomeningocele including embryology, evaluation, treatments, and outcomes.