Pathology of Syringomyelia Due to Chiari Malformations



Since the early nineteenth century, some authors have used the term syringomyelia to describe any tubular cavity within the spinal cord. More recently, classification systems have evolved to describe syringomyelia subtypes as well as distinguish other entities such as hydromyelia, syringobulbia, and myelomalacia. Our current understanding of the etiology of syringomyelia, although more advanced, is still incomplete. Syringomyelia occurs in many different clinical settings with variable clinical symptomatology and different cavitary patterns. Anatomic and pathologic criteria are helpful in establishing basic classification of syringes as well as ­understanding syringomyelia in the setting of Chiari malformation. The pathophysiological hypotheses for syringomyelia are numerous, controversial, and variable according to the proximate cause. The gross pathology and histology are similar irrespective of cause, and competing theories continue to evolve on the pathogenesis of syrinx formation.


Subarachnoid Space Fourth Ventricle Central Canal Chiari Malformation Chiari Type 
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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Pathology and Laboratory MedicineChildren’s of AlabamaBirminghamUSA

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