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Childs Nerv Syst. 2015 Mar;31(3):487-91. doi: 10.1007/s00381-014-2562-9. Epub 2014 Oct 8.

Acute asymmetrical spinal infarct secondary to fibrocartilaginous embolism.

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Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario Research Institute, University of Ottawa, 401 Smyth Rd, Ottawa, Ontario, K1H 8L1, Canada.



Spinal cord infarction is extremely rare in childhood and can result from a wide range of causes. Fibrocartilaginous embolism can give rise to spinal stroke and mimic non-vascular disease such as acute transverse myelitis.


We report two children who suffered an asymmetrical spinal cord infarction due to fibrocartilaginous embolism. The clinical presentation, radiological findings, and pathophysiology of fibrocartilaginous embolism are described. Each patient demonstrated marked clinical improvement after receiving extensive physical therapy and rehabilitation. One child demonstrated complete clinical recovery. The other had persistent asymmetrical foot weakness and distal sensory deficits.


We outline the key clinical and radiographic features that enable spinal cord infarction to be differentiated from transverse myelitis. Prognosis depends on many factors such as extent and type of injury, level of the cord affected, and age at the time of spinal cord infarction.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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