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01.12.2011 | Case report | Ausgabe 1/2011 Open Access

Journal of Medical Case Reports 1/2011

Magnetic resonance imaging findings within the posterior and lateral columns of the spinal cord extended from the medulla oblongata to the thoracic spine in a woman with subacute combined degeneration without hematologic disorders: a case report and review of the literature

Zeitschrift:
Journal of Medical Case Reports > Ausgabe 1/2011
Autoren:
Samira Rabhi, Mustapha Maaroufi, Hajar Khibri, Faouzy Belahsen, Siham Tizniti, Rhizlane Berrady, Wafaa Bono
Wichtige Hinweise

Electronic supplementary material

The online version of this article (doi:10.​1186/​1752-1947-5-166) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

Competing interests

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Authors' contributions

SR wrote the manuscript with comments and revision. MM prepared the figures. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

Abstract

Introduction

Subacute combined degeneration of the spinal cord is a rare cause of demyelination of the dorsal and lateral columns of the spinal cord and is a neurological complication of vitamin B12 deficiency. Subacute combined degeneration without anemia or macrocytosis is rare.

Case presentation

We present a case of cobalamin deficiency in a 29-year-old Moroccan woman who presented with subacute combined degeneration without evidence of anemia or macrocytosis. Magnetic resonance imaging of the spinal cord demonstrated abnormal hyperintense signal changes on T2-weighted imaging of the posterior and lateral columns from the medulla oblongata to the thoracic spine. A diagnosis of subacute combined degeneration of the spinal cord was considered and confirmed by low serum cobalamin. The patient was treated with vitamin B12 supplements and showed improvement in her clinical symptoms.

Conclusion

Physicians should diagnose subacute combined degeneration in patients early by having a high index of suspicion and using diagnostic tools such as magnetic resonance imaging.

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