Glossary term:


A meningocœle is a congenital abnormality (i.e. presenting at birth), consisting of an abnormal sac protruding from some point along the spine of the new-born child, most commonly at its lower end. It is lined by membranes identical to those which line the normal spinal canal (the meninges) and is filled with cerebrospinal fluid. It may also contain a segment of abnormally developed spinal cord, in which case the term myelomeningocœle is used. Both meningocœles and myelomeningocœles are, therefore, naturally occurring malformations. When, however, abnormal collections of cerebrospinal fluid build-up following a neurosurgical operation, we use the term pseudomeningocœle to describe them. Pseudomeningocœles develop, not uncommonly, after craniovertebral decompression for Chiari malformations. When cerebrospinal fluid shunt catheters become displaced from the peritoneal cavity, a pseudomeningocœle may develop under the skin overlying the abdominal wall.