Subacute Posttraumatic Ascending Myelopathy after an Incomplete Spinal Cord Injury from a Gunshot Wound to the Spine: Case Report and Review of the Literature

Brandon A. Miller, Anil K. Roy, Andrew B. Boucher, Gustavo Pradilla, Faiz U. Ahmad

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background Subacute posttraumatic ascending myelopathy (SPAM) is a rare event that occurs after spinal cord trauma or ischemia. SPAM is defined as progressive loss of spinal cord or nerve root function days to weeks after the initial trauma that cannot be attributed to mechanical instability. Because of the rarity of this condition, there is no clear understanding of its cause, natural history, or treatment guidelines for patient management. Case Description Here, we present the first reported case of SPAM after a gunshot wound to the spine. In this case, the patient presented with a mild spinal cord injury that recovered after surgery but then progressed to a more severe spinal cord injury many days later. Magnetic resonance imaging before and after his new symptoms supported the diagnosis of SPAM. Conclusions This case demonstrates that spinal cord injury is a dynamic lesion, both in the immediate postinjury stage and in the subacute time interval as well. This is the first reported case of SPAM that occurred after the resolution of incomplete SCI and only the second that occurred after a gunshot wound.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)687.e13-687.e17
JournalWorld Neurosurgery
Volume88
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Keywords

  • Gunshot wound
  • MRI
  • SPAM
  • Spinal trauma
  • Subacute posttraumatic ascending myelopathy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology

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