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The Mechanism Of Spinal Cord Cavitation Following Spinal Cord Transection

Chun C. Kao, Louis W. Chang

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✓ Transection of a spinal cord is followed by massive accumulation of lysosomes and release of lysosomal hydrolases within both the rostral and the caudal spinal cord stumps. The lysosomal activity begins at 3 hours after cord transection, maintains its peak for 3 to 7 days, and declines at 14 days after transection. The process is associated with autolysis of the cord stumps and subsequent cavitation. Lysosomal accumulation is greatly diminished, and, paradoxically, superior wound healing is the result at the stumps of a 5-mm segment of isolated spinal cord produced by double cord transection.