Meningitic Disorders and Myelopathies

  • E. M. R. Critchley
Part of the Clinical Medicine and the Nervous System book series (CLIN.MED.NERV.)


The spinal cord is that part of the central nervous system lying within the vertebral canal. It extends as an oval tube from the medulla oblongata at the foramen magnum to the L1–2 interspace or the upper part of the L2 vertebra. Its enveloping membranes are confluent with those covering the surface of the brain. The pia mater is intimately adherent to the cord with fine septa penetrating into the parenchyma. The arachnoid mater covers the cord more loosely, extending laterally over the dorsal ganglia and emergent roots, and downwards over the nerves of the cauda equina where it is attached to the sacrum at S2. CSF, secreted in the main by the choroid plexuses within the ventricular system of the brain, is contained within the transparent arachnoid membrane. Externally, the dura mater forms a tougher, opaque membrane over the surface of the brain and spinal cord. At spinal level it is tethered laterally by the dentate ligaments and ensheathes the arachnoid, pia, spinal cord and upper part of the cauda equina before ending at S2–3.


Spinal Cord Systemic Lupus Erythematosus Herpes Zoster Mixed Connective Tissue Disease Epidural Abscess 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Springer-Verlag London Limited 1992

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  • E. M. R. Critchley

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