Spinal cord infarction. Report of 8 cases and review of the literature

Medicine (Baltimore). 1989 Sep;68(5):282-92.


While the incidence of spinal cord ischemia is not known, it is generally considered to be rare. Diagnosis of presumed spinal cord ischemia requires the appropriate clinical picture and exclusion of other possible etiologies. Definitive diagnosis usually requires postmortem examination. During a 52-month period, 8 patients with presumed spinal cord infarction were evaluated at a 238-bed community hospital. These cases accounted for 1.2% of all admissions for stroke. Infarction of the spinal cord was confirmed on postmortem examination in 2 cases. All 6 surviving patients regained substantial motor function. Bowel and/or bladder dysfunction returned to normal in 3 patients. The literature is reviewed, and the cases are discussed in relation to the pertinent anatomic, pathogenic, and clinical aspects of spinal cord infarction.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / complications
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infarction* / diagnosis
  • Infarction* / etiology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasms / complications
  • Neoplasms / radiotherapy
  • Radiation Injuries / complications
  • Spinal Cord / blood supply*