[Epidemiology of syringomyelia in Japan--the nationwide survey].Rinsho Shinkeigaku. 1995 Dec; 35(12):1395-7.RS
The nationwide epidemiological survey of syringomyelia was carried out in Japan by sending inquiries to neurologists, child neurologists, neurosurgeons and orthopedic surgeons for the period of 1991 and 1992. A total of 1,243 cases of syringomyelia were ascertained. Among them, 622 were men and 619 women, and the average age of onset was 28 years old. The classification by Barnett et al was used, presenting syringomyelia with Chiari malformation in 684 cases (51.2%), dysraphism in 47 (3.7%), post traumatic syringomyelia in 139 (11%), post-spinal arachnoiditis in 76 (6%), spinal cord tumor in 132 (10.5%) and others in 204. Its predominant clinical course was slowly progressive, but 202 cases (17.9%) showed rather stable course including spontaneous resolution in 29 cases. The main initial symptoms were numbness in 522 cases (42%), motor disturbance in 504 (40.5%), and pain in 296 (23.8%). Neurologic signs noted in the abnormality of deep tendon reflexes in 836 cases (67.3%), motor disturbance in 763 (60.4%) and positive pathological reflexes in 383 (30.1%). Sensory disturbance was found in 942 cases (75.8%) and the dissociated type were 559 out of them (59.3%). It is noteworthy that 982 out of 1,243 were documented by MRI and surgical operations such as foramen magnum decompression, syringo-subarachnoid shunt and others were performed in 829 cases. Syringobulbia was confirmed on MRI in 101 cases of syringomyelia in which spinal cord tumors were most frequently associated.