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Syringomyelia Differential Diagnoses

  • Author: Hassan Ahmad Hassan Al-Shatoury, MD, PhD, MHPE; Chief Editor: Selim R Benbadis, MD  more...
 
Updated: Jul 08, 2016
 
 

Diagnostic Considerations

Failure to recognize the symptoms of syringomyelia or attributing symptoms (pain, excess sweating, increased spasticity, numbness, or weakness) to other causes can result in morbidity, including neurologic deterioration. Clinicians should have a high index of suspicion for syringomyelia in any patient with SCI presenting with new onset or worsening of any of the aforementioned symptoms.

The presence of a peripheral nerve disorder can alter the signs of myelopathy, masking both the sensory loss and distal hyperreflexia. Worsening syringomyelia could be missed in this setting.

Differential Diagnoses

 
 
Contributor Information and Disclosures
Author

Hassan Ahmad Hassan Al-Shatoury, MD, PhD, MHPE Associate Professor, Department of Neurosurgery, Suez Canal University; Co-Director, Center of Research and Development in Medical Education and Health Services Suez Canal University Hospital

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Coauthor(s)

Ayman Ali Galhom, MD, PhD Lecturer (Associated Professor), Department of Neurosurgery, Suez Canal University Faculty of Medicine, Egypt

Ayman Ali Galhom, MD, PhD is a member of the following medical societies: Congress of Neurological Surgeons

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Specialty Editor Board

Francisco Talavera, PharmD, PhD Adjunct Assistant Professor, University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Pharmacy; Editor-in-Chief, Medscape Drug Reference

Disclosure: Received salary from Medscape for employment. for: Medscape.

Selim R Benbadis, MD Professor, Director of Comprehensive Epilepsy Program, Departments of Neurology and Neurosurgery, Tampa General Hospital, University of South Florida College of Medicine

Selim R Benbadis, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Neurology, American Medical Association, American Academy of Sleep Medicine, American Clinical Neurophysiology Society, American Epilepsy Society

Disclosure: Serve(d) as a director, officer, partner, employee, advisor, consultant or trustee for: Cyberonics; Eisai; Lundbeck; Sunovion; UCB; Upsher-Smith<br/>Serve(d) as a speaker or a member of a speakers bureau for: Cyberonics; Eisai; Glaxo Smith Kline; Lundbeck; Sunovion; UCB<br/>Received research grant from: Cyberonics; Lundbeck; Sepracor; Sunovion; UCB; Upsher-Smith.

Chief Editor

Selim R Benbadis, MD Professor, Director of Comprehensive Epilepsy Program, Departments of Neurology and Neurosurgery, Tampa General Hospital, University of South Florida College of Medicine

Selim R Benbadis, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Neurology, American Medical Association, American Academy of Sleep Medicine, American Clinical Neurophysiology Society, American Epilepsy Society

Disclosure: Serve(d) as a director, officer, partner, employee, advisor, consultant or trustee for: Cyberonics; Eisai; Lundbeck; Sunovion; UCB; Upsher-Smith<br/>Serve(d) as a speaker or a member of a speakers bureau for: Cyberonics; Eisai; Glaxo Smith Kline; Lundbeck; Sunovion; UCB<br/>Received research grant from: Cyberonics; Lundbeck; Sepracor; Sunovion; UCB; Upsher-Smith.

Additional Contributors

Christopher Luzzio, MD Clinical Assistant Professor, Department of Neurology, University of Wisconsin at Madison School of Medicine and Public Health

Christopher Luzzio, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Neurology

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Acknowledgements

Franklin C Wagner, Jr, MD  Former Chief, Division of Spine and Spinal Cord Surgery, Former Professor, Department of Neurosurgery, University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine

Franklin C Wagner, Jr, MD is a member of the following medical societies: Alpha Omega Alpha, American Association for the Surgery of Trauma, American Association of Neurological Surgeons, American College of Surgeons, American Medical Association, Sigma Xi, Society for Neuroscience, and Society of Neurological Surgeons

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

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Sagittal T1-weighted image showing a thoracic syrinx.
 
 
 
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