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Hirotoshi Yasui, Naoya Ozawa, Satoshi Mikami, Kenji Shimizu, Takahiro Hatta, Nami Makino, Mayu Fukushima, Satoshi Baba, Yasushi Makino
(Department of Respiratory Medicine, Chutoen Medical Center, Kakegawa, Shizuoka, Japan)
Am J Case Rep 2017; 18:276-280
Spinal cord ischemia is an uncommon event that is mainly caused by dissociation of the ascending aorta as a complication after aortic surgery. Spinal arteries can develop collateral circulation; therefore, the frequency of spinal infarction is about 1% of that in the brain. Few cases of spinal cord ischemia developing in the course of lung cancer have been reported.
CASE REPORT: We presented the case of a 56-year-old man with small cell lung carcinoma, cT4N2M1a (stage IV). He was treated with irradiation and 2 courses of platinum and etoposide combination chemotherapy. He complained of back pain followed by quadriplegia and sensory disturbance after cessation of chemotherapy. With a diagnosis of spinal cord metastasis, steroids were administered. However, diaphragmatic paralysis appeared a few hours later. He was started on palliative care and died after 6 days. Autopsy showed epidural metastasis and spinal ischemia at the C5 level.
CONCLUSIONS: Epidural metastasis can compress the spinal artery and cause circulatory disorders. Spinal cord ischemia should be considered in patients with rapid paralysis in the course of lung cancer.