Spinal epidural hematoma following tissue plasminogen activator and heparinization for acute myocardial infarction

Jpn Heart J. 2002 Jul;43(4):417-21. doi: 10.1536/jhj.43.417.


The case of a 43-year-old Taiwanese man who presented with spinal epidural hematoma following intravenous administration of recombinant tissue plasminogen activator (rTPA) and heparin therapy for acute myocardial infarction (AMI) is reported. Upper back pain and progressive neurological dysfunction ensued, secondary to spinal epidural hematoma with spinal cord compression. The patient did not recover neurologic function postsurgically, possibly because the operation was delayed. In conclusion, cardiologists should be alert to this rare, severe complication of rTPA and should perform early laminectomy (in < or = 36 hours for those with complete deficit and in < or = 48 hours for those with incomplete deficit) if possible.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Hematoma, Epidural, Cranial / chemically induced*
  • Heparin / administration & dosage
  • Heparin / adverse effects*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Myocardial Infarction / drug therapy*
  • Recombinant Proteins / administration & dosage
  • Recombinant Proteins / adverse effects
  • Spinal Cord Diseases / chemically induced
  • Tissue Plasminogen Activator / administration & dosage
  • Tissue Plasminogen Activator / adverse effects*


  • Recombinant Proteins
  • Heparin
  • Tissue Plasminogen Activator