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Journal of Neurosurgical Sciences 2004 June;48(2):91-4

lingua: Inglese

Cervical epidural hematoma without fracture in a patient with ankylosing spondylitis. A case report

Pérez-López C., Isla A., Gómez Sierra A., Budke M.

Unit of Neurosurgery University Hospital La Paz, Madrid, Spain


Ankylosing spondylitis (AS) is an inflammatory disease involving the axial spine. Alterations in vertebral biomechanics leave the spine sensitive to traumas which, though minimal, may cause serious neurological lesions, particularly in long term AS patients with a completely ankylosed spine, who are more prone to suffer spine fractures. A 62-year-old man with a long-term AS suffered a minor trauma resulting in a cervical epidural hematoma from C2 to C7, leading to paraplegia. On the diagnosis of hematoma, he underwent C3-C7 left hemilaminectomies, to remove the hematoma. We could find no cause for the hematoma. The patient’s condition improved, and he was eventually able to perform all his activities independently. Even though traumatic spinal epidural hematoma (SHE) of the ankylosed spine may occur in the absence of fracture, it is commonly associated with traumatic fracture or dislocation of the spine, particularly the cervical spine. In all the published series of SEH in AS, we could only find one more case of this pathology at the cervical spine without a fracture. Neurologic recovery can be successful if decompression is performed early. SHE must be considered after trauma to an ankylosed spine when there is neurological deterioration despite the absence of fracture. A good outcome depends on the early diagnosis and surgery.

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