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01.12.2011 | Case report | Ausgabe 1/2011 Open Access

Journal of Medical Case Reports 1/2011

A firearm bullet lodged into the thoracic spinal canal without vertebral bone destruction: a case report

Journal of Medical Case Reports > Ausgabe 1/2011
Jamal Hossin, Morteza Joorabian, Mohammad Pipelzadah
Wichtige Hinweise

Electronic supplementary material

The online version of this article (doi:10.​1186/​1752-1947-5-289) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

Competing interests

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Authors' contributions

JH interpreted our patient's MRI results and supervised the writing of the manuscript. MJ was a major contributor to writing the manuscript. MP contributed to figure formatting. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.



Firearm injuries account for 13% to 17% of all spinal cord injuries, and are generally caused during warfare or assault with intent to kill. Spinal cord injuries caused by firearms are usually observed in patients aged 15 to 34 years old, and are especially common among men.

Case presentation

We report the case of a 28-year-old Iraqi man who was referred to our radiology department with lower limb paraplegia secondary to a gunshot wound. We performed 64-slice computerized tomography with two-dimensional and three-dimensional reconstruction of the thoracolumbar spine. On the two-dimensional and three-dimensional reconstructed axial images of the thoracolumbar spine, an intra-canalicular bullet nucleus was found at the mid-spinal cord at the T8 level, with no evidence of vertebral bone destruction.


To the best of our knowledge, there is only one previous report in the literature describing a case of a bullet nucleus lodged into the inferior epidural spinal canal without destruction of the vertebral bone. With the rise of violence worldwide the incidence of gunshot injuries continues to increase, and, thus, it is essential for radiologists to have a clear understanding of gunshot injuries and the findings on radiographic images.

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