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Medicina (B Aires). 1992;52(6):560-2.

[Acute paraplegia and intramedullary cavitation in a patient with pulmonary tuberculosis].

[Article in Spanish]

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  • 1Departamento de Clínica Médica, Hospital Fernández, Buenos Aires, Argentina.


This 42-year-old male patient voluntarily discontinued treatment for lung TBC and twenty days later developed acute paraplegia. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) demonstrated a large intramedullary cavity extending from T2 to the conus medullaris. Having resumed anti-TBC treatment, the patient progressed favourably, despite any change in cavity size. Tuberculous meningitis may be complicated by the appearance of intramedullary cavities by two distinct mechanisms: 1) adhesive arachnoiditis at the skull base with obstruction of Luschka and Magendie foramina, followed by hydrocephalus and hydromyelia; and 2) spinal cord arachnoiditis with the development of arachnoidal and intramedullary cysts. In either case, symptoms are of late presentation. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report in the literature of lung tuberculosis associated with syringomyelia but without basal arachnoiditis. Acute clinical presentation with paraplegia is exceptional.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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