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A syrinx is a fluid-filled cavity in the cord or brain stem.

A syrinx is a fluid-filled, slit-like cavity that develops in the spinal cord (syringomyelia) or brain stem (syringobulbia), causing compression of the white matter tracts and resulting in neurological disability. Most syringeal cavities are secondary to trauma or ischaemia, or are associated with tumours of the spinal cord. Less commonly, a syrinx may be a primary developmental phenomenon. Syringeal cavities are most frequent in the cervical spinal cord and may extend over many segments.

Clinical manifestations of syringomyelia are due to compression of the spinal cord tracts and include wasting of the intrinsic muscles of the hand, spastic weakness in the legs, and loss of pain and temperature sensation, with preservation of touch.
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Revised: 02-11-2014.