Pain and syringomyelia: a review

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The pathophysiological basis of chronic pain syndromes remains poorly defined. Central and dysesthetic pain are probably the most disabling of sensory disturbances associated with syringomyelia, and, unfortunately, effective treatment remains elusive. In this paper, the authors review their institutional experience with both clinical and laboratory studies of patients with syringomyelia, and they review the relevant literature. To date, there is no consensus as to the best treatment for central cord pain syndromes, although there are many promising areas of current research involving the use of neurochemicals in the spinal cord.

Abbreviations used in this paper:DH = dorsal horn; MR = magnetic resonance; NK = neurokinin; SCI = spinal cord injury.

The pathophysiological basis of chronic pain syndromes remains poorly defined. Central and dysesthetic pain are probably the most disabling of sensory disturbances associated with syringomyelia, and, unfortunately, effective treatment remains elusive. In this paper, the authors review their institutional experience with both clinical and laboratory studies of patients with syringomyelia, and they review the relevant literature. To date, there is no consensus as to the best treatment for central cord pain syndromes, although there are many promising areas of current research involving the use of neurochemicals in the spinal cord.

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Address reprint requests to: D. Roxanne Todor, M.D., Department of Neurosurgery, 450 Clarkson Avenue-Box 1189, Brooklyn, New York 11203. email: todorr@pol.net.

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