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Insight To Split Cord Malformations

Bhubaneswar: A referral book on Split Cord Malformations, authored by eminent neurosurgeon Prof. (Dr.) Ashok Kumar Mahapatra, was released by Prof. Manojranjan Nayak, Founder President of Siksha ‘O’ Anusandhan (SOA) at a simple function here on Thursday.

Published by Thieme, the book provides deep insight into SCM, a rare condition caused by a disorder that occurs at the embryonic stage when the spinal cord is split into two by either a bony or fibrous septum.

Explaining the condition, Prof. Mahapatra, presently Vice-Chancellor of SOA and former Head of department of neurosurgery at AIIMS, New Delhi, said the pathogenesis of complex SCM had always remained intriguing and there was still an ongoing search for its explanation.

“Based on the nature of the dividing structure, it has been classified into types I and II. However, there have been several reports in literature where complex multilevel splits have been described— some of them in association with other congenital disorders,” he said.

Prof. Mahapatra, who has conducted several thousand neurosurgeries including over 400 SCM cases, said SCM was not uncommon in India and it was challenging to handle such cases in babies in the late 1970s and early 1980s when pediatric neurosurgery was in a rudimentary stage. “For me it was challenging to start surgery for neural tube defects at AIIMS in the mid 1980s as MRI and CT scan were not available then,” he said.

Prof. Mahapatra has also conducted five SCM surgeries at the Institute of Medical Sciences and SUM Hospital, faculty of medicine of SOA, a Deemed to be University, in the last two years.

Administration of anesthesia was of important consideration in planning surgery in infants, he said adding it would not be a problem in cases where the child is above five years of age. “It needs training, skill and experience to deal with infants. This book intends to make students understand comprehensive management of SCM,” Prof. Mahapatra said.

Prof. Mahapatra was assisted by Prof. Sachin A. Borkar, Additional Professor of Neurosurgery at AIIMS, New Delhi, in authoring the book while Dr. Subhashree Mahapatra, a PhD in Molecular Medicine from Hannover Medical University, Germany helped in editing the manuscript.