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Eur J Cancer. 1994;30A(3):396-8.

Symptoms and signs in metastatic spinal cord compression: a study of progression from first symptom until diagnosis in 153 patients.

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Department of Neurology, Rigshospitalet, Copenhagen, Denmark.


The symptoms in metastatic compression of the spinal cord or cauda equine are described after a systematic recording of the sequence of symptoms in 153 patients. Radicular pain was predominant in patients with metastases located in the lumbar area, while the severity of motor symptoms was positively correlated with thoracic metastases. The most common initial symptom was radicular pain, followed, with decreasing frequency, by motor weakness, sensory complaints and bladder dysfunction. The progression of motor weakness influenced the probability of establishing the diagnosis of spinal cord compression by stepwise marked increased probability when patients lost gait function or progressed into total paralysis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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