Adhesive spinal arachnoiditis may cause profound changes within the spinal cord. These changes include cavitation. Hense the condition may be confused not only clinically but pathologically with syringomyelia. Only a few authors ( Schwarz,1 Harbitz and Lossius,2 Yasuda3 and Mackay4) have discussed cavitation from this cause. Schwarz in 1897 demonstrated preparations in a case of "syphilitic meningomyelitis" with cavitation in the cord. His description corresponds closely with present concepts of adhesive spinal arachnoiditis. Yasuda presented 3 cases of "arachnopathia fibrosa cystica proliferans" from Foerster's clinic; in each there were features suggesting syringomyelia. Mackay recently reported a case of arachnoiditis with cavitation found at autopsy and concluded that "future studies of 'syringomyelia' must take this into account." The only detailed pathologic study in the American literature besides that of Mackay is that of Grinker,5 in whose case there were but few intramedullary changes.
In a previous paper6
Lubin AJ. ADHESIVE SPINAL ARACHNOIDITIS AS A CAUSE OF INTRAMEDULLARY CAVITATIONComparison with Syringomyelia. Arch NeurPsych. 1940;44(2):409-420. doi:10.1001/archneurpsyc.1940.02280080169010