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Acute extensive myelopathy after single heroin and cocaine exposure in a patient with toxicological evidence of long-term drug abstinence


Heroin-related myelopathy is an uncommon but often devastating complication of heroin intake. It is usually reported in individuals exposed to intravenous heroin after a variable drug-free period, leading to acute and complete spinal cord injury with poor long-term outcome. We describe an original case of acute longitudinally extensive transverse myelopathy following single heroin and cocaine intravenous exposure after a long period of abstinence confirmed by toxicological hair and retrospective urine drug analysis. This case could provide new insights in the understanding of this rare neurological complication.

  • spinal cord
  • neuroimaging
  • drug misuse (including addiction)
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