• Benedict Rilliet


The word diastematomyelia (DM) was introduced by Ollivier in his treatise on disease of the spinal cord published in Paris in 1837 [1]. DM takes its origin from the Greek words διαστεμ α meaning slit or cleft, and μψελοσ, meaning cord. Ollivier clearly states that this definition applies to a more or less wide division of the spinal cord in two lateral halves. Later Cohen and Sledge [2] emphasised that this term only defines the cleft in the spinal cord and not, as often written, the osseous spur or fibro-cartilaginous tract that separates both hemicords. This common error of interpretation of the original definition has been the source of much confusion. Cases of division of the cauda equina and filum terminale should also be included in the definition of DM [5, 5]. Partial DM is characterised by an incomplete sagittal division of the spinal cord whether anteriorly or posteriorly situated [4, 6, 7, 8]. The term diplomyelia (DP), invented by von Recklinghausen [9], applies to a completely different malformation where one finds a totally formed spinal cord, situated dorsally or ventrally to the original spinal cord, mostly at the lumbo-sacral level.


Spina Bifida Tethered Cord Spinal Dysraphism Dermal Sinus Anterior Spinal Artery 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Italia 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Benedict Rilliet
    • 1
  1. 1.Service de Neurochirurgie Geneve and LausanneHôpital Cantonal UniversitaireGeneveSwitzerland

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