Spinal epidural hematoma is a well known complication of spinal surgery. Clinically insignificant small epidural hematomas develop in most spinal surgeries following laminectomy. However, the incidence of clinically significant postoperative spinal epidural hematomas that result in neurological deficits is extremely rare. In this report, we present a 33-year-old female patient whose spinal surgery resulted in postoperative spinal epidural hematoma. She was diagnosed with lumbar disc disease and underwent hemipartial lumbar laminectomy and discectomy. After twelve hours postoperation, her neurologic status deteriorated and cauda equina syndrome with acute spinal epidural hematoma was identified. She was immediately treated with surgical decompression and evacuation of the hematoma. The incidence of epidural hematoma after spinal surgery is rare, but very serious complication. Spinal epidural hematomas can cause significant spinal cord and cauda equina compression, requiring surgical intervention. Once diagnosed, the patient should immediately undergo emergency surgical exploration and evacuation of the hematoma.
We describe a case of acute lumbar epidural hematoma at the L2-3 level complicated by paraplegia, which occurred after coagulation disorder because of massive bleeding intraoperatively in cesarean section. The preoperative coagulation laboratory finding was in normal range and so we tried combined spinal epidural anesthesia. Uterine atony occurred in the operation, and there was persistant bleeding during and after the operation. After the operation, she complained of paresthesia on her both legs and was diagnosed with epidural hematoma (EDH) by radiologic examination. Emergency laminectomy on lumbar spine was carried out for hematoma evacuation and decompression of the epidural space at once. In our experience, massive bleeding during surgery may potentially increase the risk of EDH postoperatively.
Blood coagulation disorder; Cesarean section; Epidural anesthesia; Epidural hematoma; Postpartum hemorrhage; Spinal anesthesia
We report here on a case of a 23-year-old male who received en block spondylectomy for a vertebral Ewing's sarcoma at our hospital. Nine days after surgery, he presented with severe back pain and motor weakness of the lower extremities. Based on the physical examination and the computed tomography scan, he was diagnosed with acute cauda equina syndrome that was caused by compression from an epidural hematoma. His neurological functions recovered after emergency evacuation of the hematoma. This case showed that extensive surgery for a malignant vertebral tumor has a potential risk of delayed epidural hematoma and acute cauda equina syndrome and this should be treated with emergency evacuation.
Epidural hematoma; Ewing's sarcoma; Spine; En block spondylectomy
The addition of thoracic epidural anesthesia to general anesthesia during cardiac surgery may have a beneficial effect on clinical outcome. However, epidural catheter insertion in a patient anticoagulated with heparin may increase the risk of epidural hematoma. We report a case of epidural hematoma in a 55-year-old male patient who had a thoracic epidural placed under general anesthesia preceding uneventful mitral valve replacement and tricuspid valve annular plasty. During the immediate postoperative period and first postoperative day, prothrombin time (PT) and activate partial thromboplastin time (aPTT) were mildly prolonged. On the first postoperative day, he complained of motor weakness of the lower limbs and back pain. An immediate MRI of the spine was performed and it revealed an epidural hematoma at the T5-6 level. Rapid surgical decompression resulted in a recovery of his neurological abnormalities to near normal levels. Management and preventing strategies of epidural hematoma are discussed.
Analgesia; Epidural; Hematoma; Postoperative complications; Spinal
Bilateral extradural hematomas have only rarely been reported in the literature. Even rarer are cases where the hematomas develop sequentially, one after removal of the other. Among 187 cases of operated epidural hematomas during past 4 years in our hospital, we found one case of sequentially developed bilateral epidural hematoma.
An 18-year-old conscious male worker was admitted to our hospital after a fall. After deterioration of his consciousness, an emergency brain CT scan showed a right temporoparietal epidural hematoma. The hematoma was evacuated, but the patient did not improve afterwards. Another CT scan showed contralateral epidural hematoma and the patient was reoperated. Postoperatively, the patient recovered completely.
This case underlines the need for monitoring after an operation for an epidural hematoma and the need for repeat brain CT scans if the patient does not recover quickly after removal of the hematoma, especially if the first CT scan has been done less than 6 hours after the trauma. Intraoperative brain swelling can be considered as a clue for the development of contralateral hematoma.
bialteral; epidual; hematoma
The purpose of this study was to report a case with post-traumatic spinal epidural hematomas with abnormal neurologic findings, which is uncommon. A 40-year-old man presented at our clinic after a blunt trauma caused by a traffic accident in which he was a pedestrian. After admission, abnormal neurologic symptoms developed including loss of sensation and motor function in his left lower extremity. Magnetic resonance imaging demonstrated a spinal epidural hematoma with 40% canal stenosis at the L5-S1 level. Decompression including hematoma evacuation was done. Symptoms started to be reduced 18 days after operation. He was treated conservatively with medications and all symptoms resolved completely during admission and there were no further neurologic sequelae. Post-traumatic lumbar spinal epidural hematoma with abnormal neurologic findings is an uncommon condition that may present belatedly after trauma with significant neurologic compromise.
Lumbar spine; Epidural hematoma; Neurology
A 67-year-old man with degenerative lumbar spinal stenosis and a medical history significant for coronary artery disease underwent routine lumbar surgical decompression. The objective of this study was to report a case of postoperative epidural hematoma associated with the use of emergent anticoagulation, including the dangers associated with spinal decompression and early postoperative anticoagulation.
After anticoagulation therapy for postoperative myocardial ischemia, the patient developed paresis with ascending abdominal paraesthesias. Immediate decompression of the surgical wound was carried out at the bedside. Magnetic resonance imaging revealed a massive spinal epidural hematoma extending from the middle of the cervical spine to the sacrum. Emergent cervical, thoracic, and revision lumbar laminectomy without fusion was performed to decompress the spinal canal and evacuate the hematoma.
Motor and sensory function returned to normal by 14 days postoperatively, but bowel and bladder function continued to be impaired. Postoperative radiographs showed that coronal and sagittal spinal alignment did not change significantly after extensive laminectomy.
Full anticoagulation should be avoided in the early postoperative period. In cases requiring early vigorous anticoagulation, patients should be closely monitored for changes in neurologic status. Combined cervical, thoracic, and lumbar laminectomy, without instrumentation or fusion, is an acceptable treatment option.
Spinal stenosis, lumbar; Spinal decompression; Anticoagulation; Epidural hematoma; Laminectomy
We report three cases of spontaneous spinal epidural hematoma (SSEH) with hemiparesis. The first patient was a 73-year-old woman who presented with left hemiparesis, neck pain, and left shoulder pain. A cervical MRI scan revealed a left posterolateral epidural hematoma at the C3–C6 level. The condition of the patient improved after laminectomy and evacuation of the epidural hematoma. The second patient was a 62-year-old man who presented with right hemiparesis and neck pain. A cervical MRI scan revealed a right posterolateral dominant epidural hematoma at the C6-T1 level. The condition of the patient improved after laminectomy and evacuation of the epidural hematoma. The third patient was a 60-year-old woman who presented with left hemiparesis and neck pain. A cervical MRI scan revealed a left posterolateral epidural hematoma at the C2–C4 level. The condition of the patient improved with conservative treatment. The classical clinical presentation of SSEH is acute onset of severe irradiating back pain followed by progression to paralysis, whereas SSEH with hemiparesis is less common. Our cases suggest that acute cervical spinal epidural hematoma should be considered as a differential diagnosis in patients presenting with clinical symptoms of sudden neck pain and radicular pain with progression to hemiparesis.
Spinal epidural hematoma is a rare but serious neurological complication of neuraxial anesthesia. Enoxaparin sodium is a low molecular weight heparin (LMWH) for use in preventing deep venous thrombosis in patients undergoing total hip arthroplasty and total knee arthroplasty. Hemorrhage is an uncommon but documented adverse reaction when using LMWH. We report a case of epidural hematoma after lumbar epidural anesthesia in a patient who administered enoxaparin in perioperative period.
Enoxaparin; Epidural anesthesia; Spinal epidural hematoma
The authors present a rare case of calcified (ossified) chronic epidural hematoma developed in a six-and-a-half-year-old female patient who was operated for cerebellar astrocytoma 6 months earlier. There was no history of trauma. Ossified epidural hematoma was seen as an incidental finding in the follow-up in computed tomography scan after 6 months of primary glioma surgery. Ossified chronic epidural hematoma with thick collagenous wall and newly formed bone on dura was excised. The development of calcified chronic subdural hematoma after decompressive intracranial surgery is a well-known occurrence, but the fact that a calcified epidural hematoma, which is rare and which can also develop after decompressive surgery, and the occurrence of calcified (ossified) epidural hematoma after postfossa a glioma surgery is not yet reported. The second case is a 9-year-old male anemic child with a history of fall while playing 5 months earlier who presented with headache of 3 months duration. He had bifrontal calcified epidural hematoma operated by craniotomy and excision of calcified dural edge.
Epidural hematoma; pediatric epidural hematoma; calcified
Epidural anaesthesia is used extensively for cardiothoracic and vascular surgery in some centres, but not in others, with argument over the safety of the technique in patients who are usually extensively anticoagulated before, during, and after surgery. The principle concern is bleeding in the epidural space, leading to transient or persistent neurological problems.
We performed an extensive systematic review to find published cohorts of use of epidural catheters during vascular, cardiac, and thoracic surgery, using electronic searching, hand searching, and reference lists of retrieved articles.
Twelve studies included 14,105 patients, of whom 5,026 (36%) had vascular surgery, 4,971 (35%) cardiac surgery, and 4,108 (29%) thoracic surgery. There were no cases of epidural haematoma, giving maximum risks following epidural anaesthesia in cardiac, thoracic, and vascular surgery of 1 in 1,700, 1 in 1,400 and 1 in 1,700 respectively. In all these surgery types combined the maximum expected rate would be 1 in 4,700. In all these patients combined there were eight cases of transient neurological injury, a rate of 1 in 1,700 (95% confidence interval 1 in 3,300 to 1 in 850). There were no cases of persistent neurological injury (maximum expected rate 1 in 4,600).
These estimates for cardiothoracic epidural anaesthesia should be the worst case. Limitations are inadequate denominators for different types of surgery in anticoagulated cardiothoracic or vascular patients more at risk of bleeding.
Spontaneous spinal epidural haemorrhage is a rare condition. The initial clinical manifestations are variable. Nonetheless, most spinal cord lesions result in paraparesis or quadriparesis, but not hemi-paresis, if motor function is involved. We report on a 69-year-old man who presented initially with right-side limb weakness. He was initially misdiagnosed at emergency room with a cerebral stroke and treated inappropriately with heparin. One day after admission, correct diagnosis of acute spinal epidural haematoma was based on the repeated neurological examination and cervical magnetic resonance imaging study. The patient underwent emergency surgical decompression and hematoma removal. The pathogenesis of the haematoma could have been due to hypertension, increased abdominal pressure and anticoagulant therapy. We emphasize that patients with hemi-paresis on initial presentation could have an acute spinal epidural haemorrhage. We also draw the misdiagnosis to the attention of the reader because early recognition of spontaneous spinal epidural haematoma is very important for prompt and appropriate treatment to improve the overall prognosis.
Spontaneous spinal epidural haemorrhage; Hemi-paresis; Cerebrovascular disease
Spinal epidural hematoma is a rare complication associated with pain control procedures such as facet block, acupuncture, epidural injection, etc. Although it is an uncommon cause of acute myelopathy, and it may require surgical evacuation. We report four patients with epidural hematoma developed after pain control procedures. Two procedures were facet joint blocks and the others were epidural blocks. Pain was the predominant initial symptom in these patients while two patients presented with post-procedural neurological deficits. Surgical evacuation of the hematoma was performed in two patients while in remaining two patients, surgery was initially recommended but not performed since symptoms were progressively improved. Three patients showed near complete recovery except for one patient who recovered with residual deficits. Although, spinal epidural hematoma is a rare condition, it can lead to serious complications like spinal cord compression. Therefore, it is important to be cautious while performing spinal pain control procedure to avoid such complications. Surgical treatment is an effective option to resolve the spinal epidural hematoma.
Spinal epidural hematoma; Pain control procedure; Surgical evacuation
Many studies have reported spontaneous spinal epidural hematoma (SSEH). Although most cases are idiopathic, several are associated with thrombolytic therapy or anticoagulants. We report a case of SSEH coincident with acute myocardial infarction (AMI), which caused serious neurological deficits. A 56 year old man presented with chest pain accompanied with back and neck pain, which was regarded as an atypical symptom of AMI. He was treated with nitroglycerin, aspirin, low molecular weight heparin, and clopidogrel. A spinal magnetic resonance image taken after paraplegia developed 3 days after the initial symptoms revealed an epidural hematoma at the cervical and thoracolumbar spine. Despite emergent decompressive surgery, paraplegia has not improved 7 months after surgery. A SSEH should be considered when patients complain of abrupt, strong, and non-traumatic back and neck pain, particularly if they have no spinal pain history.
Acute myocardial infarction; Hematoma, epidural, spinal; Paraplegia; Thrombolytic therapy; Anticoagulants
The traumatic lung pseudocyst is a rare complication of closed thoracic injury in which increased pressure on pulmonary parenchyma causes laceration (shearing) of the parenchyma without rupture of the pleura. We present two cases with traumatic lung pseudocyst who were admitted in our ICU. Brief review of this entity.
Patients and methods: Case 1
A 19 years old man was admitted in the ICU after a motorcycle accident. Cerebral computed tomography (CT) showed left epidural hematoma. Chest CT scanning revealed two well defined densities in the right upper lung lobe with presence of air bubbles within them and ground glass appearance of the pulmonary parenchyma.The patient was operated by neurosurgeons in order to remove the epidural hematoma. Four days after admission chest CT was repeated and showed two cavitary lesions in the upper lobe with tree in bud sign in the rear section of the right lower lobe. Two samples of bronchial secretions were collected: Ziehl Nilsen staining, gene probe test for M. tuberculosis and culture for mycobacterium tuberculosis were negative. Mantoux test was negative.These findings were compatible with the diagnosis of traumatic pseudocyst. The patient showed gradual clinical improvement. Repeated chest CT scan after 6 months was within normal limits. Case 2. A 41 years old man was involved in a car-bicycle accident (he was riding the bicycle). The patient was admitted in the ICU with respiratory failure and flail chest. Chest CT scanning revealed subcutaneous emphysema, multiple bilateral rib fractures, fracture of the right clavicle, fracture of the sternum, right pneumothorax, bilateral hemothorax, and contusions of the right lung. The next day the patient was intubated because of progressive respiratory failure. Two days after admission chest CT was repeated and showed formation of lung pseudocyst, remaining pneumothorax and hemothorax. The clinical course was complicated with febrile respiratory infection and haemodynamic instability. He was treated with broad spectrum antibiotics. The patient was gradually stabilised and finally was weaned from mechanical ventilation (with a tracheostomy). 22 days after the accident the chest CT revealed resolution of the pseudocysts, and bilateral pleural effusion.
The traumatic lung pseudocyst is a rare complication of blunt thoracic trauma. The clinical course of traumatic lung pseudocyst is usually benign, requiring only supportive therapy, unless complications such as pneumothorax or infection of the cavitary lesion arise. These lesions are more common in children and young adults.
Spontaneous spinal epidural hematoma is a relatively rare but potentially disabling disease. Prompt timely surgical management may promote recovery even in severe cases.
We report a 34-year-old man with a 2-hour history of sudden severe back pain, followed by weakness and numbness over the bilateral lower limbs, progressing to intense paraparesis and anesthesia. A spinal magnetic resonance imaging scan was performed and revealed an anterior epidural hematoma of the thoracic spine. He underwent an emergency decompression laminectomy of the thoracic spine and hematoma evacuation. Just after surgery, his lower extremity movements improved. After 1 week, there was no residual weakness and ambulation without assistance was resumed, with residual paresthesia on the plantar face of both feet. After 5 months, no residual symptoms persisted.
The diagnosis of spontaneous spinal epidural hematoma must be kept in mind in cases of sudden back pain with symptoms of spinal cord compression. Early recognition, accurate diagnosis and prompt surgical treatment may result in significant improvement even in severe cases.
Pain in terminal cancer patients may be refractory to systemic analgesics or associated with adverse drug reactions to analgesics. Epidural analgesia has been effectively used in such patients for pain control. However, this method does not provide pain relief to all patients. The efficacy and complications of continuous epidural analgesia were evaluated for expanding efficacy in terminal cancer patients.
Materials and Methods
The charts of patients who received epidural analgesia for over 5 years for the control of terminal cancer pain were reviewed retrospectively.
Ninety-six patients received 127 epidural catheters. The mean duration for epidural catheterization was 31.5±55.6 (5-509) days. The dose of epidural morphine increased by 3.5% per day. The efficacy of epidural analgesia at 2 weeks follow up revealed improved pain control (n=56), as the morphine equivalent drug dose dropped from 213.4 mg/day to 94.1 mg/day (p<0.05) at 2 weeks follow up. Accordingly, after 2 weeks institution of epidural analgesia, there was a significant reduction in the proportion of patients with severe pain, from 78.1% to 19.6% (p<0.05).
Epidural analgesia was an effective pain control method in patients with terminal cancer pain, however, a systematized algorithm
for the control of cancer-related pain in needed.
Bupivacaine; cancer pain; epidural analgesia; morphine
Epidural anaesthesia in total hip replacement is an established and safe practice. It may be used alone or in combination with general anaesthesia for analgesia. Urethral catheterization in the perioperative period is known to greatly increase the complication of deep sepsis following total hip replacement. We assessed the effect on the incidence of urinary catheterization of using bupivocaine epidural anaesthesia in addition to general anaesthesia in total hip replacement. A prospective study was made of 113 total hip replacements. The incidence of catheterization in male patients who received an epidural was 67% compared to only 12% who had no epidural [P = 0.001]. In women the corresponding rates were 30% and 23%. We conclude that in men the use of supplementary epidural anaesthesia with bupivocaine is associated with a worrying increased need for urinary catheterization. This must be balanced against the claimed benefits of this form of anaesthesia.
We report a series of epidural hematomas which cause neurologic deterioration after spinal surgery, and have taken risk factors and prognostic factors into consideration. We retrospectively reviewed the database of 3720 cases of spine operation in a single institute over 7 years (1998 April-2005 July). Nine patients who demonstrated neurologic deterioration after surgery and required surgical decompression were identified. Factors postulated to increase the postoperative epidural hematoma and to improve neurologic outcome were investigated. The incidence of postoperative epidural hematoma was 0.24%. Operation sites were cervical 3 cases, thoracic 2 cases, and lumbar 4 cases. Their original diagnoses were tumor 3 cases, cervical stenosis 2 cases, lumbar stenosis 3 cases and herniated lumbar disc 1case. The symptoms of epidural hematomas were neurologic deterioration and pain. After decompression, clinical outcome revealed complete recovery in 3 cases (33.3%), incomplete recovery in 5 cases (55.6%) and no change in 1 case (11.1%). Factors increasing the risk of postoperative epidural hematoma were coagulopathy from medical illness or anticoagulation therapy (4 cases, 44.4%) and highly vascularized tumor (3 cases, 33.3%). The time interval to evacuation of complete recovery group (29.3 hours) was shorter than incomplete recovery group (66.3 hours). Patients with coagulopathy and highly vascularized tumor were more vulnerable to spinal epidural hematoma. The postoperative outcome was related to the preoperative neurological deficit and the time interval to the decompression.
Clinical outcome; risk factor; postoperative; spinal epidural hematoma; spine surgery
Accidental or inadvertent dural puncture during epidural anaesthesia results in high incidence of post dural puncture headache (PDPH). Spinal or intrathecal catheter in such a situation, provides a conduit for administration of appropriate local anaesthetic for rapid onset of intraoperative surgical anaesthesia and postoperative pain relief. This procedure prevents PDPH if catheter left in situ for > 24 hrs and also avoids the associated risks with a repeat attempts at epidural analgesia.
Primary aim of this study was to observe the effect of spinal catheter on incidence of PDPH, and to assess early and delayed complications of spinal catheterization by epidural catheter.
In prospective clinical study 34 patients who had accidental dural puncture during epidural anaesthesia were included. The catheter meant for epidural use was inserted in spinal space and used for spinal anaesthesia and postoperative analgesia. Catheter was removed between 24-36hrs after surgery.
The incidence of accidental dural puncture was 4%(34/846). Two patients 5.88% (2/34) had transient paresthesia during spinal catheter insertion. Post dural puncture headache occurred in 11.76% (4/34) patients. Two patients required epidural blood patch and two patients were managed with conservative treatment. No patient had any serious intraoperative or postoperative side effects.
Epidural catheter can be used as spinal catheter to manage accidental dural puncture without serious complications, and it also prevents PDPH.
Epidural anaesthesia; Accidental dural puncture; Post dural puncture headache (PDPH); Intrathecal catheter
Spinal epidural hematomas (SEHs) are rare complications following spine surgery, especially for single level lumbar discectomies. The appropriate surgical management for such cases remains to be investigated. We report a case of an extensive spinal epidural hematoma from T11-L5 following a L3-L4 discectomy. The patient underwent a single level L4. A complete evacuation of the SEH resulted in the patient's full recovery. When presenting symptoms limited to the initial surgical site reveal an extensive postoperative SEH, we propose: to tailor the surgical exposure individually based on preoperative findings of the SEH; and to begin the surgical exposure with a limited laminectomy focused on the symptomatic levels that may allow an efficient evacuation of the SEH instead of a systematic extensive laminectomy based on imaging.
Epidural; Hematoma; Spine; Surgery; Management; Emergency; Postoperative
During the early stage of postherpetic neuralgia, an epidural block on the affected segment is helpful in controlling pain and preventing progression to a chronic state. The main neurologic complication following an epidural block is cord compression symptom due to an epidural hematoma. When neurologic complications arise from an epidural block for the treatment of postherpetic neuralgia, it is important to determine whether the complications are due to the procedure or due to the herpes zoster itself. We report a case of a patient who was diagnosed with herpes zoster myelitis during treatment for postherpetic neuralgia. The patient complained of motor weakness in the lower extremities after receiving a thoracic epidural block six times. Although initially, we believed that the complications were due to the epidural block, it was ultimately determined to be from the herpes zoster myelitis.
epidural; myelitis; neuralgia; postherpetic
Management of neuraxial anesthesia/analgesia in anticoagulated patient can be challenging. The shortest safe time to remove epidural catheter, after a patient receives long-acting dual antiplatelet agents (clopidogrel and aspirin), is unclear. American Society of Regional Anesthesiology (ASRA) guidelines recommend seven days interval for the epidural placement after clopidogrel administration. However ASRA Guideline did not specify the time for epidural catheter removal, and did not specify how much time elapse necessary after dual antiplatelet therapy with clopidogrel and aspirin. We report a case of safe removal of epidural catheter 72 hours after oral dose of clopidogrel and aspirin with a normal platelet function analysis and normal thromboelastography before removal.
Anticoagulation; clopidogrel; epidural; thromboelastography
A 47-yrs-female patient presented with carcinoma right breast, swelling and allodynia of right upper limb. radical mastectomy with axillary clearance and skin grafting was done under cervical epidural anaesthesia through 18G epidural catheter placed at C6/C7 level. Postoperative analgesia and rehabilitation of affected right upper limb was managed by continuous epidural infusion of 0.125% bupivacaine and 2.5 µg/ml−1clonidine solution through epidural catheter for 5 days and physiotherapy. This case report highlights the usefulness of cervical epidural analgesia in managing a complex situation of carcinoma breast with associated periarthitis of shoulder joint and chronic regional pain syndrome (CRPS) of right upper limb.
Cervical epidural anaesthesia (CEA); CRPS (chronic regional pain syndrome); Carcinoma breast; epidural Clonidine
A 55-year-old obese man (body mass index, 31.6 kg/m2) presented radiating pain and motor weakness in the left leg. Magnetic resonance imaging showed an epidural mass posterior to the L5 vertebral body, which was isosignal to subcutaneous fat and it asymmetrically compressed the left side of the cauda equina and the exiting left L5 nerve root on the axial T1 weighted images. Severe arthritis of the left facet joint and edema of the bone marrow regarding the left pedicle were also found. As far as we know, there have been no reports concerning a solitary epidural lipoma combined with ipsilateral facet arthorsis causing lumbar radiculopathy. Solitary epidural lipoma with ipsilateral facet arthritis causing lumbar radiculopathy was removed after the failure of conservative treatment. After decompression, the neurologic deficit was relieved. At a 2 year follow-up, motor weakness had completely recovered and the patient was satisfied with the result. We recommend that a solitary epidural lipoma causing neurologic deficit should be excised at the time of diagnosis.
Solitary epidural lipoma; Posterior facet; Ipsilateral arthritis; Lumbar radiculopathy