Spinal cord hematomas are remarkably uncommon. Even more rare are spontaneous spinal subdural hematomas without underlying pathological changes. In some patients, compression of the spinal cord by spinal subdural hematoma has led to acute paraplegia. Spontaneous spinal subdural hematomas occur most often in the thoracic spine and are manifested by sudden back pain that radiates to the upper or lower extremities or to the trunk and variable degrees of motor, sensory, and autonomic disturbances. Clinicians should consider spontaneous spinal subdural hematoma when patients who are taking anticoagulants report back or radicular pain and the development of paraparesis, because early diagnosis is essential for preventing irreversible paralysis. Diagnosis of spontaneous spinal subdural hematoma requires prompt radiological assessment; magnetic resonance imaging is the preferred method. Treatment includes emergent decompressive laminectomy and evacuation of the hematoma to prevent or minimize permanent neurological damage caused by spinal cord compression, ischemia, and spinal cord injury.
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Cases of Note| March 01 2010
Spontaneous Spinal Subdural Hematoma: Case Study
Am J Crit Care (2010) 19 (2): 191–193.
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Rebecca Anne Dampeer; Spontaneous Spinal Subdural Hematoma: Case Study. Am J Crit Care 1 March 2010; 19 (2): 191–193. doi: https://doi.org/10.4037/ajcc2009982
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