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Fibrocartilaginous embolism: an under-recognised cause of young spinal stroke
  1. Sai Adithya Nagaratnam1,
  2. Raymond Lam Kwong Lee2,
  3. Jonathan Sturm1,3
  1. 1Department of Neurology, Gosford Hospital, Gosford, New South Wales, Australia
  2. 2Department of Radiology, Gosford Hospital, Gosford, New South Wales, Australia
  3. 3University of Newcastle, Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia
  1. Correspondence to Dr Sai Adithya Nagaratnam, Department of Neurology, Gosford Hospital, Gosford, New South Wales, Australia; sai{at}nagaratnam.net

Abstract

Fibrocartilaginous embolism is a rarely reported cause of spinal cord infarction. Seemingly innocuous activities may be associated with nucleus pulposus material embolising to the spinal cord vasculature. We describe a 36-year-old woman presenting with bilateral arm paraesthesia and chest pain that evolved into an acute cord syndrome. Initial MR scan of spine showed central spinal cord T2-weighted hyperintensity over several vertebral levels, suggesting transverse myelitis. Repeat MR scan after her symptoms persisted showed an acute cord infarction from a presumed fibrocartilaginous embolus. Clinicians should consider fibrocartilaginous embolism in patients presenting with an acute cord syndrome with supportive radiological findings.

  • CEREBROVASCULAR DISEASE
  • CLINICAL NEUROLOGY
  • MRI

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Data sharing not applicable as no datasets generated and/or analysed for this study.

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Data availability statement

Data sharing not applicable as no datasets generated and/or analysed for this study.

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Footnotes

  • Contributors All authors contributed to the conception, drafting of the manuscript and approve the final copy.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed by Aaron Berkowitz, California, USA.

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