National Organization for Rare Disorders, Inc.

It is possible that the main title of the report Arachnoiditis is not the name you expected. Please check the synonyms listing to find the alternate name(s) and disorder subdivision(s) covered by this report.


  • Arachnitis
  • Cerebral Arachnoiditis
  • Chronic Adhesive Arachnoiditis
  • Serous Circumscribed Meningitis
  • Spinal Arachnoiditis

Disorder Subdivisions

  • Adhesive Arachnoiditis
  • Arachnoiditis Ossificans
  • Spinal Ossifying Arachnoiditis
  • Neoplastic Arachnoiditis
  • Optochiasmatic Arachnoiditis
  • Postmyelographic Arachnoiditis
  • Rhinosinusogenic Cerebral Arachnoiditis

General Discussion

Arachnoiditis is a general term for several progressive regional disorders all of which result in the inflammation of parts of the middle membrane surrounding the spinal cord and brain (arachnoid membrane) and the space defined by this membrane (subarachnoid space). Either the spinal cord or the brain may be involved; in some cases, both are affected. This disorder can also be associated with meningitis. The condition may be caused by foreign agents such as anesthesia drugs or testing dyes injected into the spine or arachnoid membrane.

Since the subarachnoid space is continuous, it would be expected that a noxious agent introduced in one place would distribute itself throughout the space. However, such is not the case. The lower spinal roots and/or the spinal cord may be affected, while regions close by remain free of inflammation; hence, the term "spinal arachnoiditis". Similarly, the optic nerve and optic chiasm (crossing of nerve fibers) may be affected, giving rise to the term "opticochiasmatic arachnoiditis".


American Syringomyelia & Chiari Alliance Project Inc.
300 N. Green Street, Suite 412
PO Box 1586
Longview, TX 75606-1586
Tel: (903)236-7079
Fax: (903)757-7456
Tel: (800)272-7282

Spinal Cord Society
19051 County Hwy. 1
Fergus Falls, MN 56537
Tel: (218)739-5252
Fax: (218)739-5262

American Paraplegia Society
75-20 Astoria Boulevard
Jackson Heights, NY 11370-1177
Tel: (718)803-3782
Fax: (718)803-0414
Email: aps@UnitedSpinal.ORG

National Spinal Cord Injury Association
6701 Democracy
Suite 300-9
Bethesda, MD 20817
Tel: (301)214-4006
Fax: (301)881-9817
Tel: (800)962-9629

National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS)
P.O. Box 5801
Bethesda, MD 20824
Tel: (301)496-5751
Fax: (301)402-2186
Tel: (800)352-9424
TDD: (301)468-5981

Canadian Syringomyelia Network
69 Penny Crescent
Ontario, L3P 5X7
Tel: 9054718278
Fax: 9059444844

MUMS National Parent-to-Parent Network
150 Custer Court
Green Bay, WI 54301-1243
Tel: (920)336-5333
Fax: (920)339-0995
Tel: (877)336-5333

Genetic and Rare Diseases (GARD) Information Center
PO Box 8126
Gaithersburg, MD 20898-8126
Tel: (301)251-4925
Fax: (301)251-4911
Tel: (888)205-2311
TDD: (888)205-3223

For a Complete Report

For a Complete Report

This is an abstract of a report from the National Organization for Rare Disorders, Inc. ® (NORD). A copy of the complete report can be obtained for a small fee by visiting the NORD website. The complete report contains additional information including symptoms, causes, affected population, related disorders, standard and investigational treatments (if available), and references from medical literature. For a full-text version of this topic, see

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