Original Works

Acta Neuropathologica

, Volume 72, Issue 3, pp 248-255

First online:

Structural alterations in the spinal cord during progressive communicating syringomyelia. An experimental study in the cat

  • K. RascherAffiliated withDepartment of Anatomy, University of the Saarland
  • , K. -H. BoozAffiliated withDepartment of Anatomy, University of the Saarland
  • , E. DonauerAffiliated withDepartment of Neurosurgery, University of the Saarland
  • , A. C. NacimientoAffiliated withDepartment of Experimental Neurosurgery, University of the Saarland

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A hydrocephalic-hydromyelic condition was induced in adult cats by causing the closure of the lateral apertures with intracisternal injections of kaolin. After displaying the symptoms characteristic of increased intracranial pressure, which lasted about 10–14 days but varied somewhat in intensity from animal to animal, the cats recovered. From approximately the 2nd post-operative week onward, a distended central canal was revealed by ventriculography; subsequently cavities developed in the tissue of the cord that communicated with the canal. Most cavities were located dorsal to the canal. The surfaces of the distended canal and the cavities showed that in ventral areas the ependyma streched but remained intact, whereas in dorsal areas it ruptured, exposing the nerve fibers to the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). In cats which had been hydrocephalic for up to 2 years the walls of the cavities were covered by gliotic scar tissue; the nerve fibers were no longer exposed directly to the CSF.

Key words

Experimental communicating syringomyelia Ependyma Spinal cord Cat Scanning electron microscope