Get your Health question answered in 3 easy steps
A Doctor will be with you shortly
Ask a Doctor Now
151 Doctors are Online

How are brain stem syrinx treated ?

User rating for this question
Very Good
Answered by

Internal Medicine Specialist
Practicing since : 1998
Answered : 1579 Questions
I had a brain and spinal cord MRI w/o contrast yesterday. The wet read on the brain portion was negative. The cervical film indicated a syrinx with and underlying lesion at c6-c7. For two weeks, I have had a terrible headache, extreme diziness, vomiting, unsteady balance, I have blacked out twice and I have a tremor that is so violent that I can not even hold a cup to drink water. The headache is always at the base of my neck with a lot of pain behind my eyes. I have a loud ringing in my ears that sound like I just left a rock concert. Anyway, I saw the neurosurgeon today, he said that I had hypre reactice reflexes but that none of the symptoms had anything to do with the lesion seen on the scan. He told me that I was fine and to go home.......does that sound right?
Wed, 11 Apr 2012 in Stroke
Answered by Dr. Jasvinder Singh 8 hours later
Thanks for posting this query.

A syrinx is a fluid-filled cavity within the spinal cord (syringomyelia) or brain stem (syringobulbia).

The syrinx present in the brainstem (lower part of the brain which connects the brain with the spinal cord) can produce dizziness.

However, the syrinx in your case is present much lower in the cervical spinal cord and thus should not likely be the culprit in producing the symtoms which you're going through.

Predisposing factors for the syrinx formation are craniocervical junction abnormalities which are usually present since birth, spinal cord trauma, and spinal cord tumors.

Symptoms commonly seen are weakness of the hands and arms and deficits in pain and temperature sensation in a capelike distribution over the back and neck.

The treatment includes correction of the underlying cause and surgical procedures to drain the syrinx. However, this has to be done only after the neurosurgeon is convinced that the symptoms which the patient is going through are due to the presence of the syrinx.

If a competent Neurosurgeon is not convinced that draining it would not help your symptoms, why would he attempt it? The other reason he also might think are the symptoms may not be related to existing syrinx shown on MRI. Hence I think your neurosurgeon is competent enough to handle such cases. Ofcourse he would have done a right referral in that case to concerned specialist.

Hope this answers your query. If you have additional questions or follow up queries then please do not hesitate in writing to us. I will be happy to answer your queries.

Wishing you good health.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
Share on Google+
Question is related to

The user accepted the expert's answer

Ask a Neurologist

© Ebix, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
All the information, content and live chat provided on the site is intended to be for informational purposes only, and not a substitute for professional or medical advice. You should always speak with your doctor before you follow anything that you read on this website. Any health question asked on this site will be visible to the people who browse this site. Hence, the user assumes the responsibility not to divulge any personally identifiable information in the question. Use of this site is subject to our Terms & Conditions
Already Rated.
Your rating:

Ask a Doctor