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Learning from errors
Spinal stroke in older people secondary to dural arteriovenous fistula
  1. Sreehari Karunakaran Pillai,
  2. Thanu Subramaniam,
  3. G.G. Rao
  1. Department of Internal medicine, Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences, Kochi, India
  1. Correspondence to Dr Sreehari Karunakaran, drsreehari{at}


A 61-year-old diabetic male developed weakness of both lower limbs while walking, 1 month go. When he was examined in hospital a hour later, it was found that he had total absence of movements in both legs, sensory loss of all modalities till umbilicus and had urinary retention. MRI spine demonstrated an intramedullary longitudinal T2 hyperintensity extending from upper thoracic cord till conus medullaris. A provisional diagnosis of transverse myelitis was made and started on corticosteroids. Partial improvement was noted over a 3 week period, after which he developed urinary infection, hyponatremia and sudden worsening of weakness. Repeat MRI spine with contrast raised the possibility of dural arteriovenous malformation leading to extensive spinal cord infarction, which was confirmed by MR angiogram.

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  • Competing interests None.

  • Patient consent Obtained.

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