Dural closure for the treatment of superficial siderosis

J Neurosurg Spine. 2013 Apr;18(4):388-93. doi: 10.3171/2013.1.SPINE12649. Epub 2013 Feb 22.


Superficial siderosis (SS) of the CNS is a rare disease caused by repeated hemorrhages in the subarachnoid space. The subsequent deposition of hemosiderin in the brain and spinal cord leads to the progression of neurological deficits. The causes of bleeding include prior intradural surgery, carcinoma, arteriovenous malformation, nerve root avulsion, and dural abnormality. Recently, surgical treatment of SS associated with dural defect has been reported. The authors of the present report describe 2 surgically treated SS cases and review the literature on surgically treated SS. The patients had dural defects with fluid-filled collections in the spinal canal. In both cases, the dural defects were successfully closed, and the fluid collection was resolved postoperatively. In one case, the neurological symptoms did not progress postoperatively. In the other case, the patient had long history of SS, and the clinical manifestations partially deteriorated after surgery, despite the successful dural closure. In previously reported surgically treated cases, the dural defects were closed by sutures, patches, fibrin glue, or muscle/fat grafting. Regardless of the closing method, dural defect closure has been shown to stop CSF leakage and subarachnoid hemorrhaging. Successfully repairing the defect can halt the disease progression in most cases and may improve the symptoms that are associated with CSF hypovolemia. However, the effect of the dural closure may be limited in patients with long histories of SS because of the irreversibility of the neural tissue damage caused by hemosiderin deposition. In patients with SS, it is important to diagnose and repair the dural defect early to minimize the neurological impairments that are associated with dural defects.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Dura Mater* / abnormalities
  • Dura Mater* / surgery
  • Hemosiderin / metabolism
  • Hemosiderosis* / cerebrospinal fluid
  • Hemosiderosis* / etiology
  • Hemosiderosis* / surgery
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neurosurgical Procedures / adverse effects
  • Neurosurgical Procedures / methods*
  • Spinal Canal* / surgery
  • Subarachnoid Hemorrhage / cerebrospinal fluid
  • Subarachnoid Hemorrhage / complications*
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Hemosiderin