Thirty one patients with insidious progressive myelopathy 2 to 8 years following surgery of the cervical spine were subjected to magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). In 15 patients operated on for vascular malformations or intramedullary tumours, syringomyelia and cystic lesions of the spinal cord were shown. Seven of these patients also showed a combination of a recurrent tumour and spinal atrophy. Out of 16 patients who had surgery for herniated disc or spinal stenosis of the cervical spine, four had syringomyelia and 12 had spinal cord atrophy. There was no syringomyelia in the 12 patients submitted to MRI prior to surgery.
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