Ischemic Spinal Cord Infarction in Children Without Vertebral Fracture

Jessica R. Nance, Meredith R. Golomb

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations


Spinal cord infarction in children is a rare condition that is becoming more widely recognized. There are few reports in the pediatric literature characterizing etiology, diagnosis, treatment, and prognosis. The risk factors for pediatric ischemic spinal cord infarction include obstruction of blood flow associated with cardiovascular compromise or malformation, iatrogenic or traumatic vascular injury, cerebellar herniation, thrombotic or embolic disease, infection, and vasculitis. In many children, the cause of spinal cord ischemia in the absence of vertebral fracture is unknown. Imaging diagnosis of spinal cord ischemia is often difficult, due to the small transverse area of the cord, cerebrospinal fluid artifact, and inadequate resolution of magnetic resonance imaging. Physical therapy is the most important treatment option. The prognosis is dependent on the level of spinal cord damage, early identification and reversal of ischemia, and follow-up with intensive physical therapy and medical support. In addition to summarizing the literature regarding spinal cord infarction in children without vertebral fracture, this review article adds two cases to the literature that highlight the difficulties and controversies in the management of this condition.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)209-216
Number of pages8
JournalPediatric Neurology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2007
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Neurology
  • Developmental Neuroscience
  • Clinical Neurology


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