The term can apply to any cavity within the substance of the spinal cord that may or may not communicate with the central canal (ependyma does not line the cavity wall).
It is distinct from hydromyelia in which there is simply dilatation of the central canal.
In syringomyelia, there is a dissection of the ependymal lining of the central canal and CSF collection within the cord itself. Therefore, the collection does not have an ependymal lining.
It is very difficult to distinguish hydromyelia from syringomyelia and hence, the collective terms hydrosyringomyelia or simply "syrinx" are sometimes used to refer to a fluid collection within the cord.
- 1. Brant WE, Helms CA. Fundamentals of diagnostic radiology. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. (2007) ISBN:0781765188. Read it at Google Books - Find it at Amazon
- 2. Boon NA, Colledge NR, Davidson SS et-al. Davidson's principles & practice of medicine. Churchill Livingstone. (2006) ISBN:0443100578. Read it at Google Books - Find it at Amazon
- 3. Tanghe H. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in syringomyelia. Acta neurochir. 1995;134 (1-2): 93-99. doi:10.1007/BF01428512