Study design:Case report.Objective:Reveal the evolution of the magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) pattern in a patient with a posterior spinal artery infarction, which belongs to a subgroup of spinal cord ischemia syndromes and presents a rare cause of spinal cord injury. Our report underlines that diagnosis of spinal cord ischemia and thus clinical decision making remains challenging.Setting:University Hospital of Innsbruck and University Hospital of Salzburg, Austria.Methods:Here we present clinical, electrophysiological and imaging data in the acute, subacute and chronic phase of a woman who developed signs and symptoms related to a bilateral posterior spinal cord infarction.Results:At the clinical nadir (24 h after symptom onset), MRI did not exhibit T2 hyperintensities. However, such MRI changes were detected 8 days after symptom onset and persisted until the latest follow-up at 5 months.Conclusions:Repeated MRI constitutes an indispensable diagnostic and follow-up tool for spinal cord ischemia. The imaging data in accordance with the electrophysiological measurements correlated well with the clinical presentation in the subacute und chronic phase. Therefore, further studies might allow using MRI following spinal cord ischemia as a prognostic marker for an individual outcome.Spinal Cord advance online publication, 14 January 2014; doi:10.1038/sc.2013.165.
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