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Spinal cord infarction in a young patient with methamphetamine abuse
  1. Seek Yang Lee,
  2. Irene Looi,
  3. Mahedzan Mat Rabi and
  4. Mohamed Azlam Mohamed Micdhadhu
  1. Medical, Hospital Seberang Jaya, Seberang Jaya, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia
  1. Correspondence to Dr Irene Looi; hsjcrcbmj{at}


We report a case of a 20-year-old man who was diagnosed with spontaneous spinal cord infarction after abusing methamphetamine for a year. He presented with sudden onset of bilateral upper and lower limb weakness. His MRI spine showed a long segment of high signal intensity seen predominantly in the anterior spinal cord from medulla to mid thoracic level as well as a pencil-like hyperintensity seen postcontrast suggestive of spinal cord ischaemia or infarct. Thus, he was empirically treated for presumed anterior spinal cord infarction. He then developed autonomic dysfunction and went into respiratory distress, which required invasive mechanical ventilation support. Subsequently, he developed cardiac arrythmia with supraventricular tachycardiac followed by asystole and succumbed to illness on day 9 despite maximal resuscitative efforts. This case report illustrates a rare spinal cord infarction caused by methamphetamine intoxication and the importance of identifying and treating it early.

  • neurology (drugs and medicines)
  • neurology
  • spinal cord
  • stroke
  • drug misuse (including addiction)

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  • Contributors A big thank you to the authors and corresponding author for publishing this case report. IL helps to plan and initiate this case report. MAMM, who was the treating doctor helps to coordinated the study. MMR helps interprating the patients neuroimaging. SYL helps to prepare, write up and complete the case report.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.