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M. Yassin Mitwalli, Amr Elmoheen, Khalid Bashir
(Emergency Department, Hamad Medical Corporation, Doha, Qatar)
Am J Case Rep 2020; 21:e922416
Spontaneous spinal subdural hematoma is a rare condition that can lead to devastating neurologic deficits, usually caused by coagulation abnormalities, trauma, underlying neoplasm, or arteriovenous malformation. The patient presents with local and/or radicular pain, followed by loss of sensory, motor, bladder, and bowel function.
CASE REPORT: A 25-year-old patient presented with left-sided weakness preceded by nontraumatic upper back pain. He denied any past medical illness and being on any regular medications. He had decreased strength in the left lower limb, left upper limb, and right lower limb, with intact strength in the right upper limb. The patient exhibited decreased sensation of pain and touch on the right side of the lower limb, bilateral loss of proprioception, and intact reflexes and anal tone. He had weakness on the left side of the body and contralateral decreased sensation of pain and touch on the right side. These symptoms were suggestive of Brown-Sequard syndrome, while the bilateral loss of proprioception suggested posterior cord syndrome. Magnetic resonance imaging showed an acute spinal subdural canal hematoma producing cord compression. The patient had an urgent laminectomy and hematoma evacuation. Afterward, his neurological function improved.
CONCLUSIONS: Spontaneous spinal subdural hematoma can occur without any known pathology or remarkable trauma. It can compress the spinal cord and produce cerebral stroke-like symptoms. Hence, spinal hematoma should be ruled out in any patient presenting with a neurological deficit.