Neurological improvement and rehabilitation potential following toxic myelopathy due to intrathecal injection of doxorubicin

Spinal Cord. 2004 Jun;42(6):371-3. doi: 10.1038/


Study design: Case report of a 31-year-old woman who presented with toxic myelopathy due to intrathecal administration of doxorubicin.

Objective: To describe the pathology and the rehabilitation of an uncommon complication of intrathecal drug administration during the oncologic treatment of acute lymphoma.

Setting: Spinal cord rehabilitation center, University Hospital.

Method: Clinical and radiological observations during a rehabilitation program.

Results: Evidence of neurological improvement and rehabilitation potential after severe myelopathy due to intrathecal injection of doxorubicin.

Conclusion: This is, to our knowledge, the first report of severe myelopathy following accidental intrathecal administration of doxorubicin. Despite early complete paraplegia, some neurological and functional recovery was observed.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Antibiotics, Antineoplastic / administration & dosage
  • Antibiotics, Antineoplastic / adverse effects*
  • Doxorubicin / administration & dosage
  • Doxorubicin / adverse effects*
  • Electromyography
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Injections, Spinal
  • Muscle, Skeletal / physiopathology
  • Precursor Cell Lymphoblastic Leukemia-Lymphoma / drug therapy
  • Recovery of Function
  • Spinal Cord Diseases / chemically induced*
  • Spinal Cord Diseases / physiopathology
  • Spinal Cord Diseases / rehabilitation*
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Antibiotics, Antineoplastic
  • Doxorubicin