Which condition must be excluded first in the differential diagnoses of spinal cord infarction?

Updated: Jul 26, 2018
  • Author: Thomas F Scott, MD; Chief Editor: Helmi L Lutsep, MD  more...
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The top priority is to exclude spinal cord compression by a mass lesion. The pathologies associated with spinal cord infarction are numerous and include neoplasm, spinal epidural or subdural abscess, granuloma, spinal epidural or subdural hematoma, extramedullary spinal tumor (including meningioma, neurofibroma, extradural lymphoma, metastasis), and herniated intervertebral disk. Compressive lesions  are "surgical" causes and require prompt diagnosis because of the urgent clinical need for decompression.

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