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Case report
Pseudogout or pseudolymphoma? Calcium pyrophosphate deposition disease of the cervical spine: a rare presentation and literature review


Calcium pyrophosphate deposition (CPPD) disease is a crystal arthropathy primarily affecting peripheral joints, most commonly the wrist and the knees. However, CPPD in the cervical spine is a rare entity. This report describes a case of CPPD of the cervical spine which presents with symptoms of neck pain and brachalgia. A 62-year-old woman presented with left-sided upper limb and neck pain. MRI scanning revealed a low signal abnormality within the C6 and C7 vertebrae, and the possibility of lymphoma was raised. The patient was recalled for gadolinium-enhanced scans which showed perivertebral and marrow enhancement. Fine-needle aspirate histology initially suggested a spindle cell tumour or lymphoma. However, CT-guided biopsy showed positively birefringent crystals, confirming CPPD. CPPD of the spine is a rare differential of nerve impingement in the cervical spine when MRI scanning perivertebral signal enhancement. Furthermore, CPPD of the spine can mimic malignancy.

  • neuroimaging
  • radiology
  • rheumatology
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