Syringomyelia: clinical observations and experimental studies

J Neurotrauma. 1994 Jun;11(3):241-54. doi: 10.1089/neu.1994.11.241.


Although cavitary lesions of the spinal cord have been recognized for centuries, only recently have effective, noninvasive imaging techniques allowed antemortem diagnosis of this clinical syndrome. Methods of treatment have not been consistently successful in alleviating or reversing the clinical symptoms caused by these cystic lesions. Incomplete understanding of the underlying pathologic basis for the syringes has impeded the development of effective methods of treatment. This review documents historical considerations regarding clinical observations and experimental studies of this entity and the animal models that have been reported for each of the major types of syringomyelia. Recent studies have suggested that development of a relevant animal model of posttraumatic syringomyelia is imminent. Successful development of an experimental model will not only permit definition of the pathogenesis of cyst formation but also provide methods for testing of therapeutic interventions.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Arachnoiditis / complications
  • Dogs
  • Humans
  • Spinal Cord Injuries / complications
  • Spinal Cord Neoplasms / complications
  • Syringomyelia* / congenital
  • Syringomyelia* / etiology
  • Syringomyelia* / pathology