Choroid Plexus in the Central Canal of the Spinal Cord Causing Recurrent Syringomyelia

World Neurosurg. 2018 Mar;111:275-278. doi: 10.1016/j.wneu.2017.12.143. Epub 2017 Dec 30.


Background: Syringomyelia is a fluid-filled cavitation within the substance of the spinal cord. This condition usually follows a primary pathology that disrupts the normal cerebrospinal fluid circulation or disturbs the microcirculation and cytoarchitecture of the spinal cord parenchyma. However, an etiology of recurrent syringomyelia resulting from an ectopic choroid plexus (CP) has not been discussed. Ectopic CP rests may be found within the central nervous system. Although there has been a single report, describing ectopic intramedullary spinal cord CP, to our knowledge, extra-cranial nonmalignant CP in the central canal of the spinal cord has not been reported.

Case description: We report CP in the central canal of the spinal cord in a 23-year-old male patient who had developmental delay and diabetes mellitus type I who presented with dissociated sensory changes and muscle wastage predominantly on the right upper and lower limbs. Magnetic resonance imaging demonstrated a multiloculated spinal cord syringomyelia stretching from cervical (C3) to the conus medullaris causing recurrent neurologic deficits. A biopsy of the central canal spinal cord lesion revealed CP. Decompression and syringosubarachnoid shunt insertion stabilized the patient's neurology.

Conclusions: Our illustrative case reveals the presence of CP in the central canal of the spinal cord that may suggest a role in the etiology of recurrent syringomyelia. Although management poses a challenge to neurosurgeons, prompt decompression and shunting of the syringomyelia remains a favorable approach with acceptable outcomes. Further investigation into the pathophysiology of central canal CP ectopic causing recurrent syringomyelia and its correlation with spinal cord development may help future treatments.

Keywords: Choroid plexus; Development; Ectopic; Spinal cord; Syringomyelia.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Choristoma / complications*
  • Choroid Plexus*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Spinal Cord Diseases / pathology*
  • Syringomyelia / etiology*
  • Young Adult