Document Detail

Fibrocartilaginous embolism of the spinal cord: a clinical and pathogenetic reconsideration.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  8558152     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
A 16 year old girl did a handstand for fun, returned to her feet, experienced a sudden pain in her back, and became progressively paraplegic within 30 hours. MRI showed lumbar cord swelling, multiple Schmorl's nodes, a collapsed T11-T12 disc space, and intraspongious disc prolapse into the T12 vertebral body. These findings, related to the initial manoeuvre, suggested that an acute vertical disc herniation could have occurred as the first step in a process leading to spinal cord infarction due to fibrocartilaginous emboli from the nucleus pulposus of the intervertebral disc. The medical literature so far reports 32 cases of fibrocartilaginous embolism (FCE) of the spinal cord, all at necropsy, with the exception of one histologically demonstrated in a living patient. A clinical diagnosis of FCE would be desirable for many important reasons, but was never made. This causes severe limitations in the knowledge of the disease and precludes any therapeutic possibility. On the basis of the clinical features and findings in the present case, compared with data from the reported cases, a first attempt is made to identify the clinical context within which new information obtainable through MRI examination can lead to a reliable clinical diagnosis of FCE. The vexed question of the pathogenesis has been reviewed. An increased intraosseous pressure within the vertebral body, due to acute vertical disc herniation, seems to offer a consistent pathogenetic explanation and some therapeutic prospects.
L Tosi; G Rigoli; A Beltramello
Publication Detail:
Type:  Case Reports; Journal Article; Review    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Journal of neurology, neurosurgery, and psychiatry     Volume:  60     ISSN:  0022-3050     ISO Abbreviation:  J. Neurol. Neurosurg. Psychiatr.     Publication Date:  1996 Jan 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  1996-02-26     Completed Date:  1996-02-26     Revised Date:  2009-11-18    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  2985191R     Medline TA:  J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry     Country:  ENGLAND    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  55-60     Citation Subset:  IM    
Ospedale Sacro Cuore, Negrar, Verona, Italy.
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MeSH Terms
Embolism / complications*,  diagnosis
Infarction / etiology*
Intervertebral Disk Displacement / complications*,  diagnosis
Magnetic Resonance Imaging
Paraplegia / etiology*
Spinal Cord / blood supply*
Thoracic Vertebrae*
Time Factors

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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