Cord compression due to extramedullary hematopoiesis in an adolescent with known beta thalassemia major

Salil Soman, David L. Rosenfeld, Sudipta Roychowdhury, Richard A. Drachtman, Alan Cohler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations

Abstract

We describe a 16 year-old male with ß thalassemia major and gait disturbances that had not been given blood transfusions due to a severe childhood transfusion reaction. Thoracic spine MRI demonstrated hematopoietic marrow throughout the spine and epidural masses causing cord compression consistent with extramedullary hematopoiesis (EMH). After treatment with steroids, radiotherapy and monitored blood transfusions, the patient demonstrated significant improvement of his paraspinal lesions and near complete resolution of his neurological symptoms. While EMH causing cord compression in adolescents is rare in the current era of bone marrow transplantation or chronic transfusions, it should be considered when thalassemia major patients present with neurological deficits. The well defined imaging features of EMH can play a central role in its diagnosis and management, especially because surgical and/or radiotherapeutic intervention are often considered in cases of failed medical treatment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)17-22
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Radiology Case Reports
Volume3
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 2009

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging

Keywords

  • Adolescent extramedullary hematopiesis
  • Cord compression
  • Thalassemia

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