Syringomyelia

Syringomyelia

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.

Aetiology:
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)

Clinical features:
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).

Treatment:
Surgical drainage  temporary relief; permeant drainage via catheter.

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