Mechanisms of syrinx formation in SAS pathology: Engineering and imaging studies

Subarachnoid space pathology, such as arachnoiditis, which can have many different causes, is associated with syringomyelia. This is widely assumed to occur because the SAS pathology obstructs cerebrospinal fluid flow around the spinal cord. The precise mechanisms by which this ocur remain enigmatic.

Clinical and laboratory studies have confirmed the association between subarachnoid space pathology and fluid accumulation in the spinal cord, and both human imaging and computational modelling studies have been used to try to understand the mechanisms of this association.

Imaging studies have measured CSF flow in the spinal canal in the presence of arachnoiditis, such as occurs after spinal cord injury, showing changes in CSF flows. These imaging studies have also been used as the basis for both idealized computational models and subject-specific models, which suggest that alterations in CSF flow lead to elevated subarachnoid space pressures. This presentation will review the current state of the art in imaging and computational modelling of SAS pathology-associated syringomyelia.