How is spinal cord infarction prevented?

Updated: Jul 26, 2018
  • Author: Thomas F Scott, MD; Chief Editor: Helmi L Lutsep, MD  more...
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Spinal cord ischemia and infarction are determined by vascular risk. Diabetes mellitus is common in this disorder, affecting approximately 50% of patients. As is generally the case for the tertiary complications of diabetes, strict control of blood glucose to minimize the resultant arteriolosclerosis reduces the risk of spinal cord infarction. Giant cell arteritis should be considered particularly in elderly persons and if headache, elevated ESR, or concurrent visual symptoms is present.

Other vascular risk factors including hyperlipidemia, hypertension, and arteritis of numerous types, including dysimmune, syphilis, and "vascular fungi" such as mucormycosis, may predispose patients to spinal cord infarction. Appropriate management of these risk factors is recommended for prophylaxis for future vascular complications.

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