Central Dysesthesia Syndrome in Spinal Cord Injury Patients

Pain. 1988 Aug;34(2):109-16. doi: 10.1016/0304-3959(88)90155-8.


We have described 13 spinal cord injury patients with a complaint of diffuse, ongoing dysesthesias below the level of the lesion, which are burning in quality, and usually functionally limiting. Quantitative sensory and neurophysiological testing revealed relative preservation of the dorsal column functions in comparison to absence of spinothalamic system mediated functions. On the basis of these findings, we are speculating that such an imbalance between the spinothalamic and dorsal column systems is the main underlying mechanism of dysesthesias as a central nervous system misinterpretation of residual peripheral input.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Evoked Potentials
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Pain / etiology*
  • Pain / physiopathology
  • Sensory Thresholds*
  • Spinal Cord Injuries / complications
  • Spinal Cord Injuries / physiopathology*
  • Spinothalamic Tracts / physiopathology*
  • Syringomyelia / complications
  • Syringomyelia / etiology*