Cervical myelopathy with false localizing sensory levels

Kristin K. Adams, Carlayne E Jackson, Ronald A. Rauch, Steve F. Hart, Romana S. Kleinguenther, Richard J. Barohn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

11 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: The diagnosis of cervical myelopathy is not always initially recognized. Only a few reports have described the discrepancy between sensory level and the site of cord compression, but none, to our knowledge, have used magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) for localization. Objective: To identify a syndrome of compressive cervical myelopathy with false localizing thoracic sensory levels. Design: Case series. Setting: A university hospital referral center. Results: Four men, aged 24 to 60 years, presented with progressive weakness and hyperreflexia involving the lower extremities and distinct thoracic sensory levels ranging from T-4 to T-10. None of these patients had cervical pain, history of trauma, or upper extremity symptoms. Results of MRI scans of the thoracic spinal cord were unremarkable. Initially, 1 patient was suspected of having transverse myelitis and was treated with high-dose steroids. All 4 patients were eventually found to have cervical spinal cord compression, diagnosed by MRI. Three patients underwent surgery for decompression of the cervical lesion. While all 3 improved in lower extremity strength, 2 had persistent discrete thoracic sensory levels postoperatively. Conclusions: Failure to diagnose cervical myelopathy because of the presence of a thoracic sensory level can delay appropriate treatment or lead to incorrect therapy. Persistence of a thoracic sensory level following surgery can occur.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1155-1158
Number of pages4
JournalArchives of Neurology
Volume53
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1996

Fingerprint

Spinal Cord Diseases
Thorax
Spinal Cord Compression
Magnetic Resonance Imaging
Lower Extremity
Transverse Myelitis
Abnormal Reflexes
Neck Pain
Decompression
Upper Extremity
Spinal Cord
Referral and Consultation
Steroids
Cord
Wounds and Injuries
Therapeutics
Surgery
Compression

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

Cite this

Adams, K. K., Jackson, C. E., Rauch, R. A., Hart, S. F., Kleinguenther, R. S., & Barohn, R. J. (1996). Cervical myelopathy with false localizing sensory levels. Archives of Neurology, 53(11), 1155-1158.

Cervical myelopathy with false localizing sensory levels. / Adams, Kristin K.; Jackson, Carlayne E; Rauch, Ronald A.; Hart, Steve F.; Kleinguenther, Romana S.; Barohn, Richard J.

In: Archives of Neurology, Vol. 53, No. 11, 11.1996, p. 1155-1158.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Adams, KK, Jackson, CE, Rauch, RA, Hart, SF, Kleinguenther, RS & Barohn, RJ 1996, 'Cervical myelopathy with false localizing sensory levels', Archives of Neurology, vol. 53, no. 11, pp. 1155-1158.
Adams KK, Jackson CE, Rauch RA, Hart SF, Kleinguenther RS, Barohn RJ. Cervical myelopathy with false localizing sensory levels. Archives of Neurology. 1996 Nov;53(11):1155-1158.
Adams, Kristin K. ; Jackson, Carlayne E ; Rauch, Ronald A. ; Hart, Steve F. ; Kleinguenther, Romana S. ; Barohn, Richard J. / Cervical myelopathy with false localizing sensory levels. In: Archives of Neurology. 1996 ; Vol. 53, No. 11. pp. 1155-1158.
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