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Spine and Back Health

Hydromyelia and syrinx

07/23/2004

Question:

I just had an MRI done and the results were diffuse mild hydromyelia versus syrinx of the thoracic spinal cord. The report said there is a dilation of the central spinal canal versus a diffuse mild syrinx extending through the entire length of the thoracic spinal cord. What exactly does this mean and is it dangerous. No evidence of neoplasm. Can someone have a dilated canal normally or does it always indicate a problem. Also are the findings from a radiologist a diagnosis or just a possibility? thank you.

Answer:

Some small dilations can be congenital and if unchanging, benign.  These are all good questions, however, most are specific about your x-ray findings and should be answered by the physician who has been evaluating you.

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Response by:

Anthony Guanciale, MD
Associate Professor and Director, Division of Spine Surgery
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati