Identifying myelopathy caused by thoracic syringomyelia: a case report.


Journal Article

Myelopathy is a form of neurological disease caused by compression of the spinal cord. Upper and lower quarter screens are commonly used in identifying myelopathy, although most of the screen components demonstrate poor or unstudied diagnostic value. The purpose of this case report is to describe the diagnostic process in detecting syringomyelia, an intramedullary lesion that may cause myelopathy. The patient was a 47-year-old female with a thoracic syrinx that was discovered by spinal magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) following a complicated and delayed clinical diagnostic course. Following surgical intervention and a two-week inpatient rehabilitation stay, the patient was discharged using a rolling walker for ambulation and was performing most transfers with modified independence. A complicating pattern of signs and symptoms combined with a diagnostic process guided by poorly studied screen components demonstrates the diagnostic dilemma associated with identifying the cause of myelopathy within the thoracic spine. This also indicates the need for further investigation of individual and clustered components of the neurological screen to improve the ability to identify patients in need of complete imaging studies in a more timely fashion.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Rene Hudson, B; Cook, C; Goode, A

Published Date

  • 2008

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 16 / 2

Start / End Page

  • 82 - 88

PubMed ID

  • 19119392

Pubmed Central ID

  • 19119392

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1066-9817

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1179/106698108790818512


  • eng

Conference Location

  • England