Which histologic findings are characteristic of cervical spondylosis?

Updated: Nov 09, 2018
  • Author: Sandeep S Rana, MD; Chief Editor: Tarakad S Ramachandran, MBBS, MBA, MPH, FAAN, FACP, FAHA, FRCP, FRCPC, FRS, LRCP, MRCP, MRCS  more...
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Histologic findings associated with cervical spondylotic myelopathy are greatest at the site of maximal compression. Changes in the gray matter range from consistent motor-neuron loss and ischemic changes in surviving neurons to necrosis and cavitation. Frequently, involvement of white matter is minimal, although it varies in degree. White matter changes, when they occur, are generally seen in the ventral inner portion of the dorsal column or in the lateral columns bordering the gray matter, with the anterior columns being only slightly damaged. Nongliotic necrosis is frequently described. Wallerian degeneration of posterior columns cephalad to the site of compression and of corticospinal tracts caudal to site of compression is frequent. Widespread proliferation of small, thickened, and hyalinized intermedullary blood vessels is frequently reported.

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