Article Text

Learning from errors
Fatality from minor cervical trauma in ankylosing spondylitis
  1. Thorleif Etgen1,2,
  2. Georg Rieder1
  1. 1
    Klinikum Traunstein, Department of Neurology, Cuno-Niggl-Str. 3, Traunstein, 83278, Germany
  2. 2
    Technische Universität München, Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Ismaninger Strasse 22, München, 81675, Germany
  1. Thorleif Etgen, thorleif{at}etgen.de

Summary

Cervical injury is a serious and often fatal complication of ankylosing spondylitis in the setting of minor trauma. This case report describes a 51-year-old woman with ankylosing spondylitis and a minor trauma who developed severe bradycardia during positioning for x ray. Further diagnostic revealed a hyperextensive fracture of C4 with fragments compressing the cervical medulla. The woman subsequently died from hypoxic brain damage. Reviewing the literature, a high alertness in ankylosing spondylitis and minor trauma with neck immobilisation is emphasised, early diagnosis using cervical spine computed tomography is essential to a favourable outcome, and the mechanism of bradycardia in cervical trauma is discussed.

View Full Text

Statistics from Altmetric.com

Footnotes

  • Competing interests: none.

  • Patient consent: Patient/guardian consent was obtained for publication

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.