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Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci. 2011 May;15(5):573-6.

Quadriplegia due to pachymeningitis, vasculitis and sepsis in a patient with rheumatoid arthritis: a case report.

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  • 1Division of Internal Medicine, St. Anna Hospital, Ferrara, Italy.


We report the case of a 84-year-old man, with history of rheumatoid arthritis, admitted the Hospital for a fall and complaining of dysaesthesia and pain located to the cervical spine and arms. Within a few hours after admission, fever and acute, progressive, ascendant quadriplegia became evident. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of cervical spine showed spinal canal stenosis between C4-C6 with spinal cord compression. Hemocultures resulted positive for Staphylococcus aureus. The clinical picture rapidly evolved to sepsis with a fatal multi-organ failure. An autopsy found a osteosclerosis narrowing the neurocanal at the level of C3-C6, and recent cervical medulla infarction. A histological exam revealed the presence of a suppurative pachymeningitis with local phenomenas of periradiculitis, vasculitis and thrombosis of the anterior medullar artery, associated with coagulative necrosis of the neural tissue.

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