Diagnosis

If syringomyelia is suspected a Magnetic Resonance Image (MRI) scan is the test required for a diagnosis. MRI's use strong magnets to create detailed images of your brain and spine. In some cases, a contrast dye may be injected into a blood vessel to enhance images. A full spine MRI is required to ensure the full length of the syrinx is seen and potential causes like Chiari Malformation could be seen. 

 

Further imaging tests can include a Computerised Tomography (CT) Scan to look for potential causes of the syrinx such as tumours. 

 

Your specialists may also conduct a neurological examination where they will test reflexes, coordination, sensory function, gait etc. This is done by examining responses to touch, hot/cold, vibration and watching reflexes and walking. This is a painless, non-invasive test.  

MRI Images of Syrinxes

Syrinx

The entire area highlighted yellow is a syrinx

Hover mouse over for description
Syrinx

The area highlighted yellow is the syrinx

Hover mouse over for description