Rapid recovery from transverse myelopathy in children treated with methylprednisolone

Pediatr Neurol. 1998 Oct;19(4):279-82. doi: 10.1016/s0887-8994(98)00065-4.


Acute transverse myelopathy is an uncommon disease that manifests with gradually developing weakness of the lower extremities associated with bladder or bowel dysfunction, sensory deficits, and pain localized in the back, legs, or abdomen. There are controversies in the literature regarding the role of steroids in the treatment of acute transverse myelopathy. Recently, a pilot open study of five children with acute transverse myelopathy treated with high-dose methylprednisolone demonstrated significant shortening of motor recovery when compared with an historic control group receiving either no treatment or low-dose steroids. The authors add their experience of 10 children with acute transverse myelopathy treated with high-dose methylprednisolone as soon as the diagnosis was confirmed. The median time of motor recovery in the present series was 5.5 compared with 23 days in the other study. No significant side effects were observed after treatment. This study provides further support that this treatment modality is safe and efficient and should be suggested for all children with acute transverse myelopathy after establishing the diagnosis.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Child
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Injections, Intravenous
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Methylprednisolone / therapeutic use*
  • Myelitis, Transverse / diagnosis
  • Myelitis, Transverse / drug therapy*
  • Neurologic Examination
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • Methylprednisolone