Lumbar arachnoiditis and thecaloscopy: Brief review and proposed treatment algorithm

A. Di Ieva, G. Barolat, M. Tschabitscher, E. Rognone, E. Aimar, P. Gaetani, F. Tancioni, M. Lorenzetti, F. M. Crotti, R. Rodriguez Baena, J. P. Warnke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The term arachnoiditis describes the inflammation of the meninges and subarachnoid spaces. Lumbar arachnoiditis is characterized by obliterated nerve root sleeves and the adherence of nerve roots to each other in the proximity of the cauda equina, and may be secondary to infectious diseases or tumors, iatrogenic (subsequent to spinal surgery) or idiopathic. It is not very clearly defined epidemiologically or clinically, and various theories regarding its pathophysiology have been proposed; furthermore, its treatment is difficult because there is a lack of evidence-based diagnostic and therapeutic gold standards. Thecaloscopy has been recently described as a novel technique for retrograde transcutaneous neuroendoscopic inspection of the subarachnoid structures of the lumbar thecal sac; it has also been suggested for the treatment of lumbar arachnoiditis. We here review the most modern techniques for the treatment of this disease such as thecaloscopy and neurostimulation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)207-212
Number of pages6
JournalZentralblatt fur Neurochirurgie
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2010


  • lumbar arachnoiditis
  • neurostimulation
  • thecaloscopy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Surgery


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