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Vol. 34, No. 3, 2001
Issue release date: March 2001
Pediatr Neurosurg 2001;34:124–130

Pathogenesis of Lumbosacral Lipoma: A Test of the ‘Premature Dysjunction’ Theory

Li Y.C. · Shin S.-H. · Cho B.-K. · Lee M.-S. · Lee Y.-J. · Hong S.-K. · Wang K.-C.
aDivision of Pediatric Neurosurgery and Laboratory for Fetal Medicine Research, Clinical Research Institute, Seoul National University Hospital, Seoul, and bDepartment of Neurosurgery, Kangwon National University College of Medicine, Chunchon, Korea

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Premature separation of the neuroectoderm from the ipsilateral surface ectoderm allowing mesenchymal tissue to invade into the central canal, or ‘premature dysjunction’ theory, was proposed for the pathogenesis of dorsal type lumbosacral lipoma. To test this theory, the unilateral neural fold was incised using Hamburger and Hamilton stage 12 or 13 chick embryos. Among 35 embryos evaluated, 15 showed abnormal findings, and of these one showed findings which suggested lumbosacral lipoma: a back lump, blending of the neuroepithelium and mesenchyme through indistinct basement membrane and vertebral body abnormalities. The other 14 embryos showed abnormalities including blunt tails, open neural tube defects, incomplete closure of the dorsal neuroepithelium with intact skin, skin dimples, disorganized gray matter, scoliosis, ectopic neuroepithelium and an accessory spinal cord. The results revealed that the incision of the unilateral neural fold in the early chick embryo may produce a lesion suggestive of lumbosacral lipoma, a finding which supports the premature dysjunction theory. This method needs further refinement to overcome technical difficulties, high mortality, and a low yield before being adopted as an experimental model for lumbosacral lipoma.

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