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MSU College of Osteopathic Medicine

V. Syringomyelia

Syringomyelia (may affect individuals at any age)

  • commonly occurs at cervical levels; clefts may extend into the brainstem
  • can be caused by a variety of etiologies besides defective development including hemorrhage

Clinically, the patient often presents with loss of pain and temperature symmetrically in the hands as well as wasting of the hand muscles. This is due to encroachment of the cystic cavity in the cord on the anterior commissure which carries pain fibers and the anterior horns which contain the motor neurons which innervate the hand.


 

 

A cleft in the spinal cord is shown as an illustration of syringomyelia.
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