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CASE SERIES
Year : 2010  |  Volume : 5  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 1-9

Spinal cord swelling with abnormal gadolinium-enhancement mimicking intramedullary tumors in cervical spondylosis patients: Three case reports and review of the literature


Department of Neurosurgery, Hokkaido University Graduate School of Medicine, Sapporo, Japan

Correspondence Address:
Toru Sasamori
Department of Neurosurgery, Hokkaido University Graduate School of Medicine, North-15 West-7, Kita-ku, Sapporo 060-8638
Japan
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


PMID: 22028753

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Objective: Spinal cord swelling with abnormal gadolinium (Gd) enhancement is a rare preoperative radiological finding in patients with cervical spondylosis. In the presence of progressive myelopathy, timely surgical decompression can be curative. Case presentation: We report 3 patients with cervical spondylotic myelopathy. Preoperative magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) revealed spondylotic changes and intramedullary lesions in the cervical spine. We noted cervical cord swelling with high intensity on T2-weighted MRI and abnormal Gd-DTPA enhancement. Laminoplasty resulted in marked improvement of their neurological condition and postoperative MRI revealed gradual regression of the intramedullary lesions during the first year. Conclusion: We posit that the intramedullary lesions in our patients were reflective of spinal cord edema with blood-brain-barrier disturbance in the cervical cord, possibly due to minor recurrent spinal cord injury and disturbed venous circulation. Spinal cord edema is a rare condition in patients with cervical spondylosis and an accurate diagnosis and timely surgery are necessary for cure. Therefore, this unusual condition must be considered in spondylosis patients manifesting as intramedullary lesions on MRI of the cervical spinal cord. Careful evaluation of the postoperative course can be used to confirm the diagnosis and help in selecting a subsequent therapeutic strategy.


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