Rare longitudinal cystic cavity that develops in spinal cord (sometimes involved brainstem – syringobulbia) may produce a chronic and slowly progressive myelopathy. Can occur at any age, but most commonly in young adults. M>F.
Cause of cavity not clear; could be a development abnormality or from an injury – usually associated with an anomaly (2/3rds associated with the Arnold-Chiari malformation)
Depends of level of lesion (most commonly in cervical segments). Typically a dissociated sensory loss (temperature and pain sensation lost, but proprioception intact) and lower motor neuron weakness (atrophy, flaccid paralysis).
Surgical drainage temporary relief; permeant drainage via catheter.