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Year : 2009  |  Volume : 43  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 309-311

Cauda equina syndrome: A rare complication in intensive care

Golden Jubilee Spinal Injuries Centre, Middlesbrough, United Kingdom

Correspondence Address:
Yogendrasinh Jagatsinh
Northern Deanery, 5, Segedunum Crescent, Wallsend, Tyne and Wear. NE28 7JN
United Kingdom
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0019-5413.50873

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A 73-year-old married retired woman with a history of myocardial infarction and primary biliary cirrhosis was admitted to intensive care unit with complaints of chest pain. She was suspected to have pulmonary embolism (PE) and was treated with low-molecular-weight heparin (LMWH) and aspirin. She had computerized tomographic pulmonary angiography on next day, which ruled out any evidence of PE, until she was continued on LMWH. Three days later, she developed progressive right leg weakness and loss of sphincter control and patchy loss of sensation from T10 and below. She was seen by neurologist and had an MRI scan, which showed extensive subdural clot compressing the conus and lower half of the thoracic cord. She underwent T9-L1, L3, L5-S1 laminectomies, and evacuation and decompression of the clot. She showed very slight recovery following the surgery and left with residual paraparesis. This case is reported to raise awareness among intensivists to be cautious in establishing the diagnosis before prescribing the LMWH and be vigilant to diagnose cauda equina syndrome and treat promptly to avoid residual neurological problems.

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