Introduction: Pediatric spinal cord infarction is a rare entity that presents a diagnostic challenge at the emergency department. Ischemic spinal cord infarction can occur in the setting of trauma, cardiovascular malformation, or postoperatively. We report a case of anterior spinal artery infarction following seemingly minor trauma in an otherwise healthy 14-year-old male. Case presentation: A 14-year-old male presented with unprovoked sudden-onset stabbing back pain earlier that day. The patient then demonstrated bilateral lower extremities weakness while at the emergency department. After extensive diagnostic workup, the patient was diagnosed with anterior spinal artery territory infarction involving the thoracic spinal cord. Minor trauma to the thoracic spinal cord was detected on imaging and was believed to be the culprit of this event. Discussion: Given the rarity of spinal cord ischemia, a high index of suspicion and extensive workup of patients presenting with clinical weakness are needed for accurate diagnosis and to avoid the eventual poor outcome. With so few reports in the literature regarding spinal cord ischemia in the pediatric population, accurate diagnosis is often delayed until after irreversible events have already taken place. Our case report of anterior spinal artery distribution thoracic cord infarct following a minor trauma was diagnosed by axial thin-slice DWI MRI with an otherwise negative workup.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Neurology