Plate 17.319 Spinal Cord Lesion
Ronald A. Bergman, Ph.D., Adel K. Afifi, M.D., Paul M. Heidger,
Peer Review Status: Externally Peer Reviewed
Human, 10% formalin, Weigert-carmine, 9.4 x.
Gracile tract: Note that the gracile tract stains lighter than the adjacent cuneate tract. See Plates 317 and 322. This is due to the degenerating myelinated fibers in the gracile tract, which are not stained by this method. This slide was taken from a human with a spinal cord lesion in the dorsal (posterior) funiculus below the sixth thoracic segment. Fibers entering the spinal cord below this level form the gracile tract. The fibers entering above T6 form the cuneate tract and therefore escape degeneration.
Substantia gelatinosa: Contains 6 to 20 µm diameter neurons. Note small size compared with that of cervical cord. Concerned with sensory relay and integration.
Intermediolateral horn: Lateral gray horn. Characteristic of dorsal (thoracic) and upper lumbar segments. Contains sympathetic neurons.
Nerve roots: Incoming dorsal roots.
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