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Jpn J Radiol. 2012 Jun;30(5):450-2. doi: 10.1007/s11604-012-0064-9. Epub 2012 Mar 2.

Cervical hematomyelia after traditional Chinese massage: a case report.

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  • 1Department of Radiology, Changi General Hospital, 2 Simei Street 3, Singapore 529889, Singapore.


Hematomyelia is rare, and usually related to major trauma. Non-traumatic causes are much rarer and include underlying vascular malformations and cord tumors. We present the case of a previously well 44-year-old woman who developed severe acute neck pain and right-sided motor deficit after a session of traditional Chinese massage that entailed minimal neck manipulation. Emergent MRI confirmed hematomyelia of the right cervical hemicord, notably without associated bony or ligamentous injury. Follow-up spinal angiography and MRIs revealed no underlying vascular malformation or tumor. We highlight this case as there has been no reported case of hematomyelia occurring after mild trauma, although two cases of idiopathic hematomyelia have been reported. Though exceedingly rare, hematomyelia should be considered in the list of differential diagnoses in any case of neck pain and motor deficit after seemingly trivial injury.

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