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1.  Hemiparesis Caused by Cervical Spontaneous Spinal Epidural Hematoma: A Report of 3 Cases 
Advances in Orthopedics  2011;2011:516382.
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.
doi:10.4061/2011/516382
PMCID: PMC3170783  PMID: 21991415
2.  Postoperative Spinal Epidural Hematoma: Risk Factor and Clinical Outcome 
Yonsei Medical Journal  2006;47(3):326-332.
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.
doi:10.3349/ymj.2006.47.3.326
PMCID: PMC2688151  PMID: 16807981
Clinical outcome; risk factor; postoperative; spinal epidural hematoma; spine surgery
3.  Spinal Epidural Hematoma after Pain Control Procedure 
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.
doi:10.3340/jkns.2010.48.3.281
PMCID: PMC2966734  PMID: 21082060
Spinal epidural hematoma; Pain control procedure; Surgical evacuation
4.  Thunderclap headache as a presentation of spontaneous spinal epidural hematoma with spontaneous recovery 
Background
Spontaneous spinal epidural hematoma (SSEH) is a rare spinal cord compression disorder. Thunderclap headache mimicking subarachnoid hemorrhage as an initial manifestation of this disorder has been scarcely reported. Moreover, the neurological outcome of conservative treatment is satisfactory only in some clinical settings. The unusual presentation and mechanisms for spontaneous recovery of SSEH are discussed.
Objective
To report a case of SSEH that presented with acute severe headache that mimicked subarachnoid hemorrhage. After a period of neurological deficit, spontaneous improvement was seen, which progressed to full recovery without neurosurgical intervention.
Findings
A 62-year-old man presented with acute occipital headache and neck stiffness for which subarachnoid hemorrhage was initially suspected. An emergency computed tomographic brain scan and cerebrospinal fluid analysis excluded subarachnoid hemorrhage. Later, he developed acute paraparesis, hypoesthesia up to the fourth thoracic dermatomal level (T4) as well as bowel and bladder dysfunction. The magnetic resonance imaging eventually revealed spinal epidural hematoma, located anterior to C7 through T4 spinal level. He had no previous history of spinal injury, systemic, and hematological disorders. The neurological recovery began 20 hours after the onset and continued until complete recovery, 4 months after the onset without neurosurgical intervention.
Conclusion
SSEH could sometimes imitate subarachnoid hemorrhages when it located in the cervical region. Spontaneous recovery of SSEH without surgical intervention might be possible in cases with continuing neurological recovery, although the recovery began much later in the clinical course.
doi:10.1179/2045772313Y.0000000104
PMCID: PMC3831335  PMID: 24090118
Headache; Spontaneous spinal epidural hematoma; Subarachnoid hemorrhage; Paraparesis
5.  Solitary spinal epidural cavernous angioma: report of nine surgically treated cases and review of the literature 
European Spine Journal  2012;22(3):542-547.
Purpose
We intend to report the largest series of spinal epidural cavernomas (SEC), discuss their clinical features, imaging characteristics, surgical findings, outcome analysis and compare them with similar reports in the literature.
Methods
Among the cases of spinal tumors treated surgically by the authors, there have been nine cases of SEC’s. All the data were collected prospectively and the cases have been followed after surgery up to the time of this analysis.
Results
There were six female and three male patients with the ages ranging between 13 and 74 years. The lesions were located in the thoracic spine (4 cases), lumbar spine (4 cases) and one at the sacral level. Clinical presentations included acute spinal pain and paraparesis in two, low back pain and radiculopathy in five, and slowly progressive myelopathy in the other two cases. The lesion was iso-intense with the spinal cord in T1W images and hyperintense in T2W images and showed strong homogeneous enhancement after contrast medium injection in most of our cases. In the presence of hemorrhage inside the lesion, it was hyperintense in both T1W and T2W MR sequences as in our case 6. In the single case presenting with acute hemorrhage, epidural hematoma was the only finding, our case 1. Complete surgical removal was achieved in all our cases, and confirmed by postoperative MRI.
Conclusion
SEC is hard to be differentiated from other epidural spinal lesions before intervention but should be considered in the list of differential diagnosis regarding its favorable outcome.
doi:10.1007/s00586-012-2526-2
PMCID: PMC3585645  PMID: 23053760
Cavernous angioma; Magnetic resonance imaging; Spinal epidural cavernoma; Spinal epidural lesion
6.  Spontaneous Cervical Epidural Hematoma with Hemiparesis Mimicking Cerebral Stroke 
Aim. Spontaneous cervical epidural hematoma (SCEH) is defined as an epidural hematoma that does not have an etiological explanation. The most common site for SCEH is cervicothoracic area. Early diagnosis and treatment are important for prognosis and good results. In this paper, we aimed to present a case who complains of sudden weakness on right extremities imitating cerebral stroke and that neuroimaging reveals spontaneous cervical epidural hematoma. Case. A 72-year-old woman was admitted to our hospital with acute neck pain and loss of strength on right extremities. On neurological examination, the patient had right hemiparesis. PT, aPTT, and INR results were 50.5, 42.8, and 4.8, respectively. Cranial MRI was in normal limits. Spinal MRI revealed a lesion that extends from C4 to C7 located on the right side and compatible with epidural hematoma. The patient was operated after normalization of INR values. Conclusion. Even though SCEH is a rare condition, it can cause severe morbidity and mortality. Early diagnosis and treatment are quiet important for prognosis. SCEH can easily be mistaken for stroke as with other pathologies and this diagnosis should come to mind especially in patients who have diathesis of bleeding.
doi:10.1155/2014/210146
PMCID: PMC4202256  PMID: 25371831
7.  Paget's Disease of the spine and its management 
European Spine Journal  2001;10(5):370-384.
Abstract.
A review of the literature was conducted to study the pathomechanics by which Paget's Disease of bone (PD) alters the spinal structures that result in distinct spinal pathologic entities such as pagetic spinal arthritis, spinal stenosis, and other pathologies, and to assess the best treatment options and available drugs. The spine is the second most commonly affected site with PD. About one-third of patients with spinal involvement exhibit symptoms of clinical stenosis. In only 12–24% of patients with PD of the spine is back pain attributed solely to PD, while in the majority of patients back pain is either arthritic in nature or a combination of a pagetic process and coexisting arthritis. Neural element dysfunction may be attributed to compressive myelopathy by pagetic bone overgrowth, pagetic intraspinal soft tissue overgrowth, ossification of epidural fat, platybasia, spontaneous bleeding, sarcomatous degeneration and vertebral fracture or subluxation. Neural dysfunction can also result from spinal ischemia, when blood is diverted by the so-called ''arterial steal syndrome''. Because the effectiveness of pharmacologic treatment for pagetic spinal stenosis has been clearly demonstrated, surgical decompression should only be instituted after failure of antipagetic medical treatment. Surgery is indicated as a primary treatment when neural compression is secondary to pathologic fractures, dislocations, spontaneous epidural hematoma, syringomyelia, platybasia, or sarcomatous transformation. Since, in the majority of cases with pagetic spinal involvement, there are also coexisting osteoarthritic changes, antipagetic medical treatment alone may be disappointing. Therefore, one must be careful before attributing low back pain to PD alone. Five classes of drugs are available for the treatment of PD: bisphosphonates, calcitonins, mithramycin (plicamycin), gallium nitrate, and ipriflavone. Bisphosphonates are the most popular, and several forms have been investigated, but only the following forms have been approved for clinical use: disodium etidronate, clodronate, aledronate, risedronate, neridronate, pamidronate, tiludronate, ibadronate, aminohydroxylbutylidene bisphosphonate, olpadronate, and zoledronate. Several of these forms are still under investigation.
doi:10.1007/s005860100329
PMCID: PMC3611523  PMID: 11718191
Paget's Disease Back pain Spinal stenosis Myelopathy Complications Medical treatment Surgery Review
8.  Sudden onset of paraplegia caused by hemorrhagic spinal epidural angiolipoma. A case report 
European Spine Journal  2008;17(Suppl 2):296-298.
Spinal epidural angiolipoma is a rare benign tumor containing vascular and mature adipose elements. A slow progressive clinical course was mostly presented and rarely a fluctuating course during pregnancy. The authors report the original case of spontaneous spinal epidural bleeding resulting from thoracic epidural angiolipoma who presented with hyperacute onset of paraplegia, simulating an extradural hematoma. The patient was admitted with sudden non-traumatic hyperacute paraplegia during a prolonged walk. Neurologic examination showed sensory loss below T6 and bladder disturbances. Spinal MRI revealed a non-enhanced heterogeneous thoracic epidural lesion, extending from T2 to T3. A bilateral T2–T4 laminectomy was performed to achieve resection of a lipomatous tumor containing area of spontaneous hemorrhage. The postoperative course was uneventful with complete neurologic recovery. Histologic examination revealed the tumor as an angiolipoma. Because the prognosis after rapid surgical management of this lesion is favorable, the diagnosis of spinal angiolipoma with bleeding should be considered in the differential diagnosis of hyperacute spinal cord compression.
doi:10.1007/s00586-008-0591-3
PMCID: PMC2525899  PMID: 18228054
Angiolipoma; Epidural spinal tumor; Spinal cord compression; Spinal epidural hematoma
9.  Idiopathic Hypertrophic Spinal Pachymeningitis : Report of Two Cases and Review of the Literature 
Idiopathic hypertrophic spinal pachymeningitis (IHSP) is a rare inflammatory disease characterized by hypertrophic inflammation of the dura mater and various clinical courses that are from myelopathy. Although many associated diseases have been suggested, the etiology of IHSP is not well understood. The ideal treatment is controversial. In the first case, a 55-year-old woman presented back pain, progressive paraparesis, both leg numbness, and voiding difficulty. Initial magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) demonstrated an anterior epidural mass lesion involving from C6 to mid-thoracic spine area with low signal intensity on T1 and T2 weighted images. We performed decompressive laminectomy and lesional biopsy. After operation, she was subsequently treated with steroid and could walk unaided. In the second case, a 45-year-old woman presented with fever and quadriplegia after a spine fusion operation due to lumbar spinal stenosis and degenerative herniated lumbar disc. Initial MRI showed anterior and posterior epidural mass lesion from foramen magnum to C4 level. She underwent decompressive laminectomy and durotomy followed by steroid therapy. However, her conditions deteriorated gradually and medical complications occurred. In our cases, etiology was not found despite through investigations. Initial MRI showed dural thickening with mixed signal intensity on T1- and T2-weighted images. Pathologic examination revealed chronic nonspecific inflammation in both patients. Although one patient developed several complications, the other showed slow improvement of neurological symptoms with decompressive surgery and steroid therapy. In case of chronic compressive myelopathy due to the dural hypertrophic change, decompressive surgery such as laminectomy or laminoplasty may be helpful as well as postoperative steroid therapy.
doi:10.3340/jkns.2011.50.4.392
PMCID: PMC3243847  PMID: 22200026
Idiopathic hypertrophic spinal pachymeningitis; Spinal cord compression; Chronic nonspecific inflammation; Dural thickening
10.  Spinal epidural hematoma related to an epidural catheter in a cardiac surgery patient -A case report- 
Korean Journal of Anesthesiology  2011;61(6):524-527.
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.
doi:10.4097/kjae.2011.61.6.524
PMCID: PMC3249578  PMID: 22220233
Analgesia; Epidural; Hematoma; Postoperative complications; Spinal
11.  Extensive Postoperative Epidural Hematoma After Full Anticoagulation: Case Report and Review of the Literature 
Background/Objective:
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.
Methods:
Case report.
Findings:
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.
Results:
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.
Conclusions:
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.
PMCID: PMC2031966  PMID: 17684896
Spinal stenosis, lumbar; Spinal decompression; Anticoagulation; Epidural hematoma; Laminectomy
12.  Delayed Postoperative Epidural Hematoma Presenting Only with Vesicorectal Disturbance 
Case Reports in Orthopedics  2013;2013:861961.
We present a rare case of delayed onset of epidural hematoma after lumbar surgery whose only presenting symptom was vesicorectal disturbance. A 68-year-old man with degenerative spinal stenosis underwent lumbar decompression and instrumented posterolateral spine fusion. The day after his discharge following an unremarkable postoperative course, he presented to the emergency room complaining of difficulty in urination. An MRI revealed an epidural fluid collection causing compression of the thecal sac. The fluid was evacuated, revealing a postoperative hematoma. After removal of the hematoma, his symptoms disappeared immediately, and his urinary function completely recovered. Most reports have characterized postoperative epidural hematoma as occurring early after operation and accompanied with neurological deficits. But it can happen even two weeks after spinal surgery with no pain. Surgeons thus may need to follow up patients for at least a few weeks because some complications, such as epidural hematomas, could take that long to manifest themselves.
doi:10.1155/2013/861961
PMCID: PMC3773434  PMID: 24073350
13.  Spinal Epidural Hematoma as a Complication of Intravenous Thrombolysis in an Acute Ischemic Stroke Patient 
Case Reports in Neurology  2010;2(1):32-36.
An 80-year-old white male suffered a stroke, fell to the floor, and suffered acute right hemiparesis and facial palsy. After an intravenous alteplase infusion 2.5 h later, the patient first complained of numbness in his right arm, then neck pain, followed by left leg numbness and slowly progressing paraparesis. MRI of the spine demonstrated an acute spinal dorsal epidural hematoma extending from the C6 to the T6 level; 12 h later, he underwent hematoma evacuation and laminectomy. Three months after surgery, the patient was paraplegic with moderate sensory loss below mamillary level. Acute ischemic stroke is often associated with a sudden fall, which, after thrombolysis, may result in unusual hemorrhagic complications.
doi:10.1159/000313637
PMCID: PMC2914369  PMID: 20689632
Cerebral infarction; Thrombolysis; Spinal epidural hematoma
14.  Postoperative spinal epidural hematoma resulting in cauda equina syndrome: a case report and review of the literature 
Cases Journal  2009;2:8584.
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.
doi:10.4076/1757-1626-2-8584
PMCID: PMC2740261  PMID: 19830087
15.  Principles of management of osteometabolic disorders affecting the aging spine 
European Spine Journal  2003;12(Suppl 2):S113-S131.
Osteoporosis is the most common contributing factor of spinal fractures, which characteristically are not generally known to produce spinal cord compression symptoms. Recently, an increasing number of medical reports have implicated osteoporotic fractures as a cause of serious neurological deficit and painful disabling spinal deformities. This has been corroborated by the present authors as well. These complications are only amenable to surgical management, requiring instrumentation. Instrumenting an osteoporotic spine, although a challenging task, can be accomplished if certain guidelines for surgical techniques are respected. Neurological deficits respond equally well to an anterior or posterior decompression, provided this is coupled with multisegmental fixation of the construct. With the steady increase in the elderly population, it is anticipated that the spine surgeon will face serious complications of osteoporotic spines more frequently. With regard to surgery, however, excellent correction of deformities can be achieved, by combining anterior and posterior approaches. Paget's disease of bone (PD) is a non-hormonal osteometabolic disorder and the spine is the second most commonly affected site. About one-third of patients with spinal involvement exhibit symptoms of clinical stenosis. In only 12–24% of patients with PD of the spine is back pain attributed solely to PD, while in the majority of patients, back pain is either arthritic in nature or a combination of a pagetic process and coexisting arthritis. In this context, one must be certain before attributing low back pain to PD exclusively, and antipagetic medical treatment alone may be ineffective. Neural element dysfunction may be attributed to compressive myelopathy by pagetic bone overgrowth, pagetic intraspinal soft tissue overgrowth, ossification of epidural fat, platybasia, spontaneous bleeding, sarcomatous degeneration and vertebral fracture or subluxation. Neural dysfunction can also result from spinal ischemia when blood is diverted by the so-called "arterial steal syndrome". Because the effectiveness of pharmacologic treatment for pagetic spinal stenosis has been clearly demonstrated, surgical decompression should only be instituted after failure of antipagetic medical treatment. Surgery is indicated as a primary treatment when neural compression is secondary to pathologic fractures, dislocations, spontaneous epidural hematoma, syringomyelia, platybasia, or sarcomatous transformation. Five classes of drugs are available for the treatment of PD. Bisphosphonates are the most popular antipagetic drug and several forms have been investigated.
doi:10.1007/s00586-003-0600-5
PMCID: PMC3591829  PMID: 14505119
Osteoporosis; Fractures; Neurological deficit; Deformity; Paget's disease; Back pain; Spinal stenosis; Myelopathy; Treatment
16.  Spontaneous and idiopathic chronic spinal epidural hematoma: two case reports and review of the literature 
European Spine Journal  2009;18(11):1555-1561.
Spinal epidural hematoma (SEH) represents the most frequent entity of acute or chronic spinal bleeding. Based upon pathogenesis, SEH can be classified as idiopathic, spontaneous, and secondary. The idiopathic forms are considered not to be attributed to any specific risk factors. Spontaneous SEH, accounting for 0.3–0.9% of all spinal epidural space occupying lesions, instead is associated with risk factors (such as substantial soft trauma or coagulation abnormalities). The chronic form, as our literature review revealed, is the rarest and its most frequent location is the lumbar spine. The pathophysiology of spontaneous and idiopathic SEH is still under debate: There are only a few reports in literature of chronically evolving SEH with progressively increasing pain and neurological impairment. Magnetic resonance imaging may be inconclusive for differential diagnosis. Here, we present two cases of lumbar chronic SEH with slow, progressive, and persistent lumbar radicular impairment. The first patient reported a minor trauma with slight back contusion and thus was classified as spontaneous SEH. In the second case not even a minor trauma was involved, so we considered it to be idiopathic SEH. In both cases preoperative blood and coagulation tests were normal and we did not find any other or co-factors in the patients’ clinical histories. MR imaging showed uncertain spinal canal obstructing lesions at L3 and L4 level in both cases. Surgical treatment allowed a correct diagnosis and resulted in full clinical and neuroradiological recovery after 1 year follow-up. Our aim is to discuss pathogenesis, clinical and radiological features, differential diagnosis and treatment options, on the background of relevant literature review.
doi:10.1007/s00586-009-1175-6
PMCID: PMC2899401  PMID: 19859747
Spontaneous; Idiopathic; Chronic; Hematoma; Epidural; Spinal
17.  An intradural cervical chordoma mimicking schwannoma 
Journal of Injury and Violence Research  2012;4(3 Suppl 1): Paper No. 83.
Abstract:
Chordoma is a relatively rare tumor originating from the embryonic remnants of the notochord. This is an aggressive, slow growing and invasive tumor. It occurs mostly at the two ends of neuroaxis which is more frequent in the sacrococcygeal region. Chordoma in vertebral column is very rare. This tumor is extradural in origin and compresses neural tissues and makes the patient symptomatic. This tumor found extremely rare in the spinal region as an intradural tumor.
The present study reports a rare case of intradural chordoma tumor as well as its clinical manifestations and treatment options.
Case:
The patient was a 50-year-old female presented with 9 months history of progressively worsening neck pain, cervical spine chordoma resembling neurinoma and right arm numbness. Physical examination showed no weakness in her limbs, but she had upward plantar reflex and mild hyperreflexia. In a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan of the cervical spine there was an ill-defined enhancing mass in the posterior aspect of C2-C3 body caused cord compression more severe in right side as well as foraminal scalloping. The patient underwent surgery and after midline posterior cervical incision and paravertebral muscle stripping a laminectomy was performed from C1 through C4 using a high speed drill. Needle biopsy revealed chordoma on frozen section and all of accessible parts of tumor were excised. The gross and microscopic histopathological appearance was consistent with chordoma.
Chordomas are malignant tumors that arise from remains of embryonic notochord. These ectopic rests of notochord termed “ecchordosis physaliphora “can be found in approximately 2% of autopsies. These are aggressive, slow growing, locally invasive and destructive tumors those occur in the midline of neuroaxis. They generally thought to account for 2% to 4% of all primary bone neoplasms and 1% to 4% malignant bone neoplasms. They are the most frequent primary malignant spinal tumors after plasmacytomas. The incidence has been estimated to be 0.51 cases per million. The most common location is sacrococcygeal region followed by the clivus. These two locations account for approximately 90% of chordomas. Of the tumors that do not arise in the sacrum or clivus, half occur in the cervical region, with the remainder found in the lumbar or thoracic region, in descending order of frequency. Cervical spine chordomas account for 6% of all cases. Distal metastasis most often occurs in young patients, those with sacrococcygeal or vertebral tumors, and those with atypical histological features. These tumors usually spread to contiguous anatomical structures, but they may be found in distant sites (skin, musculoskeletal system, brain, and other internal organs). Seeding of the tumor has also been reported, and the likely mechanism seems to be tumor cell of contamination during the surgical procedures. The usual radiological findings in chordomas of spine are destructive or lytic lesions with occasional sclerotic changes. They tend to lie anterolateral, rather than dorsal towards the cord, and reportedly known to invade the dura. The midline location, destructive nature, soft tissue mass formation and calcification are the radiological hallmarks of chordomas. Computed Tomography (CT) scan is the best imaging modality to delineate areas of osteolytic, osteosclerotic, or mixed areas of bone destruction.Chordoma is usually known as a hypovascular tumor which grows in a lobulated manner. Septal enhancement which reflects a lobulated growth pattern is seen in both CT and MRI and even in gross examination. Other epidural tumors include neurinoma, neurofibroma, meningioma, neuroblastoma, hemangioma, lymphoma and metastases. Their differentiation from chordoma may be difficult due to the same enhancement pattern on CT and MRI.
A dumbbell-shaped chordoma is a rare pathogenic condition. The dumbbell shape is a characteristic finding of neurinomas in spine but in spinal neurinomas extention to transverse foramina has not yet been reported. Although our case mimicked a dumbbell shaped neurogenic tumor, its midline location and destructive pattern were characteristic feature indicating a clue to the diagnosis of chordoma that was already confirmed with histopathology.
This unusual behavior of tumor extension can be explained by the soft and gelatinous nature of the tumor enabling the mass to extend or creep into the existing adjacent anatomical structures.
Keywords:
Cervical Chordoma, Intradural, Computed tomography
PMCID: PMC3571609
18.  Fatal outcome after insufficient spine fixation for pyogenic thoracic spondylodiscitis: an imperative for 360° fusion of the infected spine 
Background
Pyogenic spondylodiscitis represents a potentially life-threatening condition. Due to the low incidence, evidence-based surgical recommendations in the literature are equivocal, and the treatment modalities remain controversial.
Case presentation
A 59 year-old patient presented with a history of thoracic spondylodiscitis resistant to antibiotic treatment for 6 weeks, progressive severe back pain, and a new onset of bilateral lower extremity weakness. Clinically, the patient showed a deteriorating spastic paraparesis of her lower extremities. An emergent MRI revealed a kyphotic wedge compression fracture at T7/T8 with significant spinal cord compression, paravertebral and epidural abscess, and signs of myelopathy. The patient underwent surgical debridement with stabilization of the anterior column from T6–T9 using an expandable titanium cage, autologous bone graft, and an anterolateral locking plate. The patient recovered well under adjunctive antibiotic treatment. She presented again to the emergency department 6 months later, secondary to a repeat fall, with acute paraplegia of the lower extremities and radiographic evidence of failure of fixation of the anterior T-spine. She underwent antero-posterior revision fixation with hardware removal, correction of kyphotic malunion, evacuation of a recurrent epidural abscess, decompression of the spinal canal, and 360° fusion from T2–T11. Despite the successful salvage procedure, the patient deteriorated in the postoperative phase, when she developed multiple complications including pneumonia, acute respiratory distress syndrome, bacterial meningitis, abdominal compartment syndrome, followed by septic shock with multiple organ failure and a lethal outcome within two weeks after revision surgery.
Conclusion
This catastrophic example of a lethal outcome secondary to failure of anterior column fixation for pyogenic thoracic spondylodiscitis underlines the notion that surgical strategies for the infected spine must be aimed at achieving absolute stability by a 360° fusion. This aggressive – albeit controversial – concept allows for an adequate infection control by adjunctive antibiotics and reduces the imminent risk of a secondary loss of fixation due to compromises in initial fixation techniques.
doi:10.1186/1754-9493-3-4
PMCID: PMC2654872  PMID: 19243602
19.  Spontaneous Resolution of Paraparesis Because of Acute Spontaneous Thoracolumbar Epidural Hematoma 
Symptomatic spontaneous spinal epidural hematoma(SSEH) is an uncommon cause of cord compression that commonly is considered as an indication for emergent surgical decompression. We aimed to investigate a patient with a SSEH that completely resolved clinically and radiographically, without surgical treatment. The patient presented three days after the sudden onset of back pain, numbness, and weakness. Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) revealed a posterior thoracolumbar epidural hematoma extending from the level of T10 to L2 with significant cord compression. Decompression was recommended but he refused surgery and was managed conservatively. One month later, weakness totally recovered and hematoma was absent on MRI.
PMCID: PMC3372017  PMID: 22737554
Spinal epidural hematoma; Cord compression; Conservative therapy
20.  Spontaneous resolution of paraparesis because of acute spontaneous thoracolumbar epidural hematoma 
Background
Symptomatic spontaneous spinal epidural hematoma(SSEH) is an uncommon cause of cord compression that commonly is considered an indication for emergent surgical decompression. We aimed to investigate a patient with a SSEH that completely resolved clinically and radiographically, without surgical treatment. The patient presented three days after the sudden onset of back pain, numbness, and weakness. Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) revealed a posterior thoracolumbar epidural hematoma extending from the level of T10 to L2 with significant cord compression. Decompression was recommended but he refused surgery and was managed conservatively. One month later weakness totally recovered and hematoma was absent on MRI.
PMCID: PMC3482330  PMID: 23115720
Spinal epidural hematoma; Cord compression; Conservative therapy
21.  Clinical Experience and Management of Cervico-Thoracic Epidural Hematoma 
Spinal epidural hematoma (SEH) causing acute myelopathy is rare. The usual clinical presentation of a SEH is sudden severe neck or back pain that progresses toward paraparesis or quadriparesis, depending on the level of the lesion. Recent studies have shown that early decompressive surgery is very important for patient's recovery. We experienced five patients of cervico-thoracic epidural hematomas associated with neurologic deficits that were treated successfully with surgical intervention.
doi:10.3340/jkns.2010.47.5.381
PMCID: PMC2883060  PMID: 20539799
Intraspinal; Epidural; Hematoma; Laminectomy
22.  Spontaneous chronic epidural hematoma of the lumbar spine mimicking an extradural spine tumour 
European Spine Journal  2012;22(Suppl 3):337-340.
Purpose
Spontaneous chronic epidural hematomas are extremely rare and can be extremely challenging to diagnose and differentiate. The clinical findings, computed tomographic scan and magnetic resonance imaging does not always enough to complete differentiate this condition. Our purpose is to report a case of a spontaneous chronic epidural hematoma presenting as an extradural mass leading to compressive radicular symptoms with images of bony scalloping which are sparsely reported in the literature.
Methods
We describe a 61-year-old woman who was evaluated after 18-month history of pain, disestesias and mild weakness in both lower extremities with significant radicular symptoms on the right side associated to neurogenic claudication.
Results
CT scans revealed a nodular image of soft tissue density located in the right anterolateral epidural space at the L4–L5 level demonstrating resorption of the bony margins. MRI studies revealed a round mass in the vertebral canal displacing the dural sac and scalloping the posterior wall of the L4 vertebral body. Diagnosis was established between a degenerative cyst versus an atypical neurinoma. Surgical findings demonstrated an isolated well-formed chronic hematoma.
Conclusion
Spontaneous chronic epidural hematomas are rare, even more when they produce scalloping of bony structures becoming a diagnostic challenge. Therefore they should be always considered as a differential diagnosis in patients with extradural chronic compressions taking into account that also chronic epidural hematomas can cause bone involvement.
doi:10.1007/s00586-012-2402-0
PMCID: PMC3641257  PMID: 22718047
Tumour; Spine, epidural; Hematoma
23.  Acute spinal subdural hematoma complicating lumbar decompressive surgery 
Study design: A case report.
Objective: To report a rare case of acute spinal subdural hematoma (SSH) complicating lumbar spine surgery, its characteristic presenting symptoms, diagnostic imaging, possible cause, and pitfall in management.
Methods: A 59-year-old woman with lumbar spinal instability and stenosis underwent laminectomy and decompression at L3–L5 with instrumentation and fusion from L3–S1.
Results: Immediately following surgery, the patient presented with incapacitating pain of both lower extremities from the mid-thigh downward, which was not relieved by narcotic analgesia and was disproportional to surgical trauma. Left ankle and great toes weakness was detected at postoperative day 2 and deteriorated on day 6. Magnetic resonance imaging was performed urgently and revealed a characteristic SSH with thecal sac compression at the level of L2, proximal to the laminectomy. Emergency decompression and evacuation of the hematoma was performed. The patient had partial recovery 6 weeks postoperatively.
Conclusion: Acute SSH is a rare complication of lumbar spine surgery. This diagnosis must be considered when severe leg pain, unresolved with analgesia and disproportional to surgical trauma, with neurological deterioration occurring after lumbar spine surgery. Magnetic resonance imaging is the imaging modality of choice to assist in the differential diagnosis of an SSH. Early surgical decompression is necessary for optimal neurological recovery.
doi:10.1055/s-0031-1298602
PMCID: PMC3503516  PMID: 23236307
24.  Spontaneous Spinal Epidural Hematomas Associated With Acute Myocardial Infarction Treatment 
Korean Circulation Journal  2011;41(12):759-762.
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.
doi:10.4070/kcj.2011.41.12.759
PMCID: PMC3257462  PMID: 22259609
Acute myocardial infarction; Hematoma, epidural, spinal; Paraplegia; Thrombolytic therapy; Anticoagulants
25.  Chronic spontaneous cervicothoracic epidural hematoma in an 8-month-old infant 
Annals of Saudi Medicine  2011;31(3):301-304.
Spontaneous spinal epidural hematoma is an uncommon cause of cord compression in children, especially in infants. An 8-month-old infant was admitted to our hospital for a 40-day history of paraparesis in the lower extremities. This rapidly progressed to paraparesis with an inability to move the lower extremities. MRI of the cervicothoracic spine revealed an epidural mass with compression of the spinal cord. The infant underwent C7-T3 total laminectomies. The pathology and postoperative MRI confirmed spinal epidural hematoma from a vascular malformation. We present the case to highlight the significance of recognizing this chronic spontaneous spinal epidural hematoma and discuss the diagnosis, treatment options and prognosis.
doi:10.4103/0256-4947.75586
PMCID: PMC3119974  PMID: 21242640

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