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Idiopathic acute transverse myelitis in a middle-aged woman with progression to nadir in less than one hour
  1. Jamiu Omotayo Aloba1,
  2. Sagarika Muradia2,
  3. Alexandra Monaghan2,
  4. Zainab Afolabi3 and
  5. Rama Shankar Prasad2
  1. 1Emergency Medicine department, University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust, Leicester, UK
  2. 2Neurology, University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust, Leicester, UK
  3. 3Radiology, University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust, Leicester, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Jamiu Omotayo Aloba; jamiu.aloba{at}


We report a case of a middle-aged woman, normally fit and well, presenting with acute onset neurological deficit with progression to nadir in <1 hour. Initial MRI spine showed no significant abnormality, although second MRI spine showed abnormal signal in three to four segments with no compressive lesion. CT aortic angiography excluded vascular or ischaemic abnormality. We made a diagnosis of idiopathic acute transverse myelitis (ATM). She was treated with steroids and made significant progress improving from T11 ASIA A paraplegia to T11 ASIA C paraplegia by the time of discharge. Awareness of idiopathic ATM presenting hyperacutely with initial MRI spine being normal is important for prompt diagnosis and management.

  • spinal cord
  • neuroimaging
  • stroke

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  • Contributors Patient under the care of RSP. Study conceived and designed by JOA and RSP. Report (including its revision) written by JOA. Report (including its revision) reviewed and amendments recommended by RSP. SM and AM participated in the analysis of data and revision of the article. ZA collected, processed and labelled the images as well as reviewed the article. All contributing authors approved the final version.

  • 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.

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