What is syringobulbia?
Syringobulbia is characterized by a cerebrospinal fluid filled cavity (syrinx) in the medulla.
It is a rare condition often found in association with congenital abnormalities such as Chiari malformations, as well as with neoplasms or as sequelae to spinal cord trauma.
It may affect one or more cranial nerves, causing facial palsies, or cause compression and/or interruption of sensory and motor nerves pathways in the brain stem.
The symptoms progress from minor sensory changes to weakness and wasting bulbar musculature, to respiratory compromise, and even to death.
Surgical treatment involves drainage or decompression of the syrinx cavity with diversion of fluid to the subarachnoid space or peritoneal cavity.
Posterior fossa decompression may also be used.