Primary Amyloidoma of the Thoracic Spine Presenting With Acute Paraplegia

Surg Neurol. 2001 Jun;55(6):378-82. doi: 10.1016/s0090-3019(01)00465-7.


Background: Primary solitary amyloidoma of the spine is a rare disease characterized by localized deposition of amyloid. To the best of our knowledge, there have been only 14 cases previously reported in the literature. Patients with focal spinal amyloidoma usually have relatively long symptomatic periods preoperatively, ranging from 3 weeks to 6 years (mean: 12 months). Only two reported patients had acute paraplegia. We add a third case of a thoracic spine amyloidoma presenting with acute paraplegia.

Case description: A 65-year-old man presented with a three-day history of progressive paraplegia and urinary retention. He was found to have severe cord compression at T2 on magnetic resonance imaging. He underwent emergent decompressive laminectomy with instrumentation for spinal stabilization. Histopathology revealed abundant amyloid deposits. A systemic work-up was negative for amyloidosis. The patient showed marked neurological improvement with residual mild spastic gait after 1 year.

Conclusions: Primary spinal amyloidoma with acute paraplegia is rare. One-stage surgery combining prompt decompression and stabilization of the spinal column is mandatory in cases of spinal amyloidoma with acute myelopathy, because primary solitary amyloidoma carries a good prognosis.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Aged
  • Amyloidosis / diagnosis*
  • Amyloidosis / pathology
  • Amyloidosis / surgery*
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Paraplegia / etiology*
  • Spinal Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Spinal Diseases / pathology
  • Spinal Diseases / surgery*
  • Thoracic Vertebrae / pathology*
  • Thoracic Vertebrae / surgery*