Challenge of the Week / Spine / 02.14.20

Which of the following conditions are associated with the presence of syringomyelia?
  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)
  • Congenital causes of syringomyelia include neural tube defects (myelomeningocele and tethered cord syndrome) and Chiari malformations or Klippel-Feil syndrome with spinal canal narrowing, which may lead to cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) flow disturbances with resulting syringomyelia. ALS is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder that results in weakness, respiratory distress, and death. A syrinx is not associated with ALS.

  • Parkinson disease
  • Parkinson disease (PD) is a brain disorder that is caused by atrophy of the basal ganglia. It is not associated with PD.

  • Pseudotumor cerebri
  • Peudotumor cerebri is a disorder related to high pressure in the brain that causes signs and symptoms of a brain tumor—hence the “pseudo.” Pseudotumor cerebri is also sometimes known as intracranial hypertension or benign intracranial hypertension. It does not cause a syrinx.

  • Chiari I malformation
  • Congenital causes of syringomyelia include neural tube defects (myelomeningocele and tethered cord syndrome) and Chiari malformations or Klippel-Feil syndrome with spinal canal narrowing, which may lead to cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) flow disturbances with resulting syringomyelia.

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