Historical Perspective of Split Cord Malformations: A Tale of Two Cords

Saker E, Loukas M, Fisahn C, Oskouian RJ, Tubbs RS.Historical Perspective of Split Cord Malformations: A Tale of Two Cords.Pediatr Neurosurg. 2016 Nov 3.



Our appreciation and understanding of what is now known as the split cord malformation (SCM) have a long history. The oldest known example of SCM is from roughly AD 100. Other isolated examples can be found in the large body of work of the pathologists of the 1800s, where the SCMs were found incidentally during autopsies.


SCM has a rich history and has intrigued physicians for over 200 years. Many well-known figures from the past such as Chiari and von Recklinghausen, both pathologists, made early postmortem descriptions of SCM. With the advent of MRI, these pathological embryological derailments can now often be detected and appreciated early and during life. Our understanding and ability to treat these congenital malformations as well as the terminology used to describe them have changed over the last several decades.