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Interv Neuroradiol. 2000 Dec 22;6(4):327-31. Epub 2001 May 15.

Thoracic disc herniation presenting with transient anterior spinal artery syndrome. A case report.

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1
Department of Neurological Surgery and Miami Project to Cure Paralysis, University of Miami; Miami, FL, USA - tmarotta@vanhosp.bc.ca.

Abstract

This report is a clinical and radiologic correlation of anterior spinal arterial distribution ischemia with a thoracic disc herniation affecting the artery of Adamkiewicz. We could only find one other similar reported case. A 38-year-old woman developed sudden onset of severe back pain and radiculopathy, followed by rapidly evolving paraparesis. The neurological examination was consistent with a deficit caused by anterior spinal artery ischemia. MRI revealed T2 signal change in the thoracolumbar spinal cord and a laterally placed, non-calcified disc herniation. Selective spinal angiography performed 30 hours after onset revealed displacement of the left T9 radicular feeding artery by the disc herniation; at this time the artery was patent. The patient experienced some resolution of symptoms within the first 24 hours and was managed conservatively and made a significant recovery within two weeks. Appropriately located thoracic disc herniations can disturb the blood supply to the thoracolumbar spinal cord.

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