Synonym.—Chronic Spinal Meningitis.
Definition.—Chronic leptomeningitis is a chronic inflammation of the meninges of the cord.
Etiology.—This may follow the acute form, though generally the result of syphilis, alcoholism, and disease of adjacent bone, which may be tubercular carcinomatous, or sarcomatous. It may be the result of concussion of the spine.
Pathology.—The pia mater is injected, swollen, edematous, and infiltrated with cells. Adhesion of the pia mater and the dura mater often occurs, or they may be welded together. The ventricles may contain serum, and the ependyma lining them is frequently thickened. There may be hemorrhages into the membrane.
Symptoms.—The symptoms are not well denned, and are those of slow compression. In some cases they are negative, while in others, where the nerve-roots are involved, there will be hyperesthesia, radiating pains, stiffness, tremors, and sometimes paralysis. The symptoms are progressive and may extend over years.
Prognosis.—Although the disease is not rapid, it generally terminates in death.
Treatment.—Diet, hygienic measures, and remedies that improve the general health are to be considered in the treatment. Open air and an equable climate and easily digested food should be recommended.