Some authors use syringobulbia to refer to a syrinx present in any portion of the brainstem rather than specifically involving the medulla oblongata, and therefore encompassing syringopontia and syringomesencephaly as well. This article considers the nuances in these definitions and discusses extension of the syrinx only into the medulla oblongata.
When present, it is seen in continuity with a long syrinx that demonstrates syringomyelia 1,2. It is pathologically identical to a syringomyelia, as simply an extension of the collection of cerebrospinal fluid within the cord with dissection through the ependymal lining of the central canal of the spinal cord.
There are numerous causes and associations, and these are discussed in more depth in the general article on syrinx.
Syringobulbia has the same radiographic characteristics on all imaging modalities as any other syrinx 1. See syrinx for an in-depth discussion of these characteristics.
Treatment and prognosis
When symptomatic, neurosurgical intervention may be required 1.
- 1. Williams B. Syringobulbia: a surgical review. Acta neurochirurgica. 123 (3-4): 190. Pubmed
- 2. Menezes AH, Greenlee JD, Longmuir RA, Hansen DR, Abode-Iyamah K. Syringohydromyelia in association with syringobulbia and syringocephaly: case report. Journal of neurosurgery. Pediatrics. 15 (6): 657-61. doi:10.3171/2014.11.PEDS14189 - Pubmed