- The presence in the spinal cord of longitudinal cavities lined by dense, gliogenous tissue, which are not caused by vascular insufficiency. S. is marked clinically by pain and paresthesia, followed by muscular atrophy of the hands and analgesia with thermoanesthesia of the hands and arms, but with the tactile sense preserved; later marked by painless whitlows, spastic paralysis in the lower extremities, and scoliosis of the lumbar spine. Some cases are associated with low grade astrocytomas or vascular malformations of the spinal cord. SYN: hydrosyringomyelia, Morvan disease, syringomyelus. [syringo- + G. myelos, marrow]
* * *sy·rin·go·my·elia sə-.riŋ-gō-mī-'ē-lē-ə n a chronic progressive disease of the spinal cord associated with sensory disturbances, muscle atrophy, and spasticitysy·rin·go·my·el·ic -'el-ik adj
* * *n.a disease of the spinal cord in which longitudinal cavities form within the cord in the cervical (neck) region. The centrally situated cavity (syrinx) is especially likely to damage the motor nerve cells and the nerve fibres that transmit the sensations of pain and temperature. Characteristically there is weakness and wasting of the muscles in the hands with a loss of awareness of pain and temperature. An extension of the cavitation into the lower brainstem is called syringobulbia. Cerebellar ataxia, a partial loss of pain sensation in the face, and weakness of the tongue and palate may occur. Syringomyelia is sometimes associated with an Arnold-Chiari malformation.
* * *sy·rin·go·my·elia (sĭ-ring″go-mi-eґle-ə) [syringo- + myel- + -ia] a slowly progressive syndrome of cavitation in the central segments of the spinal cord, generally in the cervical region, but sometimes extending up into the medulla oblongata (syringobulbia) or down into the thoracic region; it may be of developmental origin, arise secondary to tumor, trauma, infarction, or hemorrhage, or be of unknown cause. It results in neurologic deficits, usually segmental muscular weakness and atrophy with a dissociated sensory loss (loss of pain and temperature sensation, with preservation of the sense of touch), and thoracic scoliosis is often present. Sometimes the use of the term syringomyelia is restricted to this condition, with the terms segmental sensory dissociation with brachial muscular atrophy and syndrome of sensory dissociation with brachial amyotrophy being used for a similar condition that may be associated with other pathological lesions or states. Called also cavitary myelitis, hydrosyringomyelia, Morvan syndrome, syringomyelic syndrome, and syringomyelus. See also Morvan syndrome (def. 2).
Medical dictionary. 2011.