Haining Tan, Jianxiong Shen, Fan Feng, Jianguo Zhang, Hai Wang, Chong Chen, Zheng Li

August 2018, Volume 27, Issue 9, pp 2148 - 2155 Original Article Read Full Article 10.1007/s00586-018-5679-9

First Online: 30 June 2018


To clarify the clinical manifestation and radiological characteristics of idiopathic syringomyelia (IS) and to investigate the relationship between syrinx and scoliotic curves in IS-related scoliosis patients.


Fifty-five patients with IS and scoliosis were identified and reviewed retrospectively from June 2009 to December 2016. Radiographic features of syrinx, scoliosis and clinical manifestations of neurological deficits were collected. The syrinx/cord (S/C) ratio was defined as the anteroposterior diameter of syrinx divided by the diameter of spinal cord at the same level. Patients were classified into two groups, the thoracic group (T group, apex vertebra located from T2 to intervertebral disk of T11–T12) and the thoracolumbar/lumbar group (TL/L group, apex vertebra located from T12 to L5).


There was no correlation between the radiological features of idiopathic syrinx and scoliotic curve parameters. The TL/L group had a lower level of most caudal extent (13.7 compared with 10.6, P = 0.029) and lower level of largest S/C ratio (12.0 compared with 8.7, P = 0.016) than that in T group. The deviated side of syrinx was not coincident with major curve convexity (27.2% concordance rate, P = 0.522) or dominant side of neurological deficit (16.3% concordance rate, P = 0.212).


Patients with major curves located on the thoracolumbar or lumbar spine had a much lower caudal extent and lower level of greatest S/C ratio compared to patients with major curves located on the thoracic spine. No significant relationships were detected between syrinx features, scoliotic curve parameters and neurological deficits.

Graphical abstract

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