What is the pathogenesis of cauda equina syndrome (CES)?

Updated: Jun 14, 2018
  • Author: Segun Toyin Dawodu, JD, MD, MS, MBA, LLM, FAAPMR, FAANEM; Chief Editor: Nicholas Lorenzo, MD, CPE, MHCM, FAAPL  more...
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Cauda equina syndrome may result from any lesion that compresses CE nerve roots. These nerve roots are particularly susceptible to injury, since they have a poorly developed epineurium. A well-developed epineurium, as peripheral nerves have, protects against compressive and tensile stresses. [2]

The microvascular systems of nerve roots have a region of relative hypovascularity in their proximal third. Increased vascular permeability and subsequent diffusion from the surrounding cerebral spinal fluid supplement the nutritional supply. This property of increased permeability may be related to the tendency toward edema formation of the nerve roots, which may result in edema compounding initial and sometimes seemingly slight injury.

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