History of Management of Atretic Encephaloceles in Children

Understanding of Disease

  • 1932 – first modern description: In 1932, Ingalls reported a midline cranial anomaly in embryos that was referred to as “nuchal bleb” (10).
  • 1950 – recognition of similarity to lumbosacral meningocele: In 1950, James and Lassman coined the term “meningocele manqué” to designate an arrested (or involuted) form of the common spinal meningocele (13).
  • 1964 – description of spectrum of encephaloceles: In 1964, McLaurin provided the first clinical description of parietal encephaloceles, which included four cases of true encephaloceles, two of heterotopic glial rests, two of meningoceles with central connection, and five of meningoceles without central connection (23).
  • 1979 – first use of “atretic” to describe lesion: Yamada et al., in 1979, presented three instances of a “peculiar head tumor” and suggested the lesions should be called “atretic” or “rudimentary” encephaloceles (32).
  • 1988 and 1992 – series descriptions of atretic encephaloceles: Atretic encephaloceles were further characterized by Yokota et al. (33) in 1988, who included five instances of these lesions, and by Martínez-Lage et al. (16) in 1992, who reported an additional 16 cases and placed special emphasis on the associated intracranial anomalies.