CausesBy Mayo Clinic staff
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|Syringomyelia cyst (syrinx) in the spinal cord|
Although it's unclear exactly how and why it happens, when syringomyelia develops, cerebrospinal fluid — the fluid that surrounds, cushions and protects your brain and spinal cord — collects within the spinal cord itself, forming a fluid-filled cyst (syrinx).
The following conditions and diseases can lead to syringomyelia:
- Chiari malformation — a condition in which brain tissue protrudes into your spinal canal
- Meningitis — an inflammation of the membranes surrounding your brain and spinal cord
- Spinal cord tumor — which may interfere with the normal circulation of cerebrospinal fluid
- Tethered spinal cord syndrome — a disorder caused when tissue attached to your spinal cord limits its movement
- Spinal injury — which may cause symptoms months or even years after the initial injury
- Spinal scar tissue — which can develop after surgery
- Syringomyelia fact sheet. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/syringomyelia/detail_syringomyelia.htm. Accessed Dec. 12, 2010.
- Hauser SL, et al. Diseases of the spinal cord. In: Fauci AS, et al. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine. 17th ed. New York, N.Y.: McGraw-Hill; 2008. http://www.accessmedicine.com/content.aspx?aID=2904462&searchStr=syringomyelia#2904462. Accessed Dec. 6, 2010.
- What is syringomyelia? American Syringomyelia & Chiari Alliance Project. http://www.asap.org/syringomyelia. Accessed Dec. 12, 2010.
- Chiari malformation and syringomyelia: A handbook for patients and their families. Chiari and Syringomyelia Foundation. http://www.csfinfo.org/chiari_syringomyelia_cm_sm_handbook. Accessed Dec. 10, 2010.
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- Eisen A. Disorders affecting the spinal cord. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed Dec. 6, 2010.
- Krauss WE (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Dec. 17, 2010.