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NeuroRehabilitation. 2011;29(4):353-7. doi: 10.3233/NRE-2011-0712.

Brown-Séquard-plus syndrome after a stab injury.

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1
Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Hospital La Fe, Valencia, Spain.

Abstract

STUDY DESIGN:

Case report.

OBJECTIVE:

To describe a patient presenting with Brown-Séquard-plus syndrome treated in a conservative manner and to discuss the possible physiopathological mechanisms causing the injury.

METHODS:

The case study of a 35-year-old woman who entered the hospital with a knife that had penetrated her neck through the left upper thoracic aperture and with a rising, back, right oblique trajectory. This patient developed Brown-Séquard-plus syndrome on the right side of her body.

RESULTS:

The initial computerized tomography (CT) demonstrated that the tip of the knife was inside the right C7 vertebral foramen, which not dissected the vertebral artery. The initial magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and the MRI done 3 weeks later showed the presence of spinal cord ischemia on the right side at the C6-C7 level. This spinal cord ischemia was most likely caused after a vessel spasm of the vertebral artery. After conservative treatment, the patient evolved from a C rating on the ASIA scale to a D rating.

CONCLUSION:

In our department, spinal cord injuries after stab wounds are very rare, and they usually cause incomplete lesions that eventually lead to Brown-Séquard syndrome. In our patient, the spinal cord injury was due to a vasospasm of the vertebral artery, which was accompanied by good functional prognosis. MRI helped to define the physiopathologic mechanism of the injury and guided the appropriate treatment decision.

PMID:
22207062
DOI:
10.3233/NRE-2011-0712
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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