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Case Rep Neurol Med. 2013;2013:159649. doi: 10.1155/2013/159649. Epub 2013 Mar 27.

Subacute Combined Degeneration of the Spinal Cord due to Different Etiologies and Improvement of MRI Findings.

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Department of Neurology, Medical Faculty, Bezmialem Vakıf University, Turkey.


Subacute combined degeneration (SCD) is a rare neurological complication of vitamin B12 deficiency, characterized by demyelination of the dorsal and lateral spinal cord. Herein, we describe three cases, who presented with SCD, one related to reduced intake of vitamin B12 because of a vegetarian diet and two related to nitrous oxide exposure during surgery. MR images of our patients revealed symmetrical hyperintense signals in dorsal and lateral columns in T2 weighted series. After treatment with intramuscular B12 injections (1 mg daily for 2 weeks, once weekly thereafter for three months) all patients showed improvement of their symptoms. Abnormalities of the spinal cord on MRI resolved in three months. In conclusion, SCD either due to nitrous oxide exposure or due to reduced intake of vitamin B12 is a reversible condition, when detected and treated early.

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