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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Radiological data of brachial plexus avulsion injury associated spinal cord herniation (BPAI-SCH) and comparison to anterior thoracic spinal cord herniation (ATSCH).

  • Author(s): Jack, Andrew S
  • Chapman, Jens R
  • Mummaneni, Praveen V
  • Gerard, Carter S
  • Jacques, Line
  • et al.

Spinal cord herniation (SCH) is a rare cause of myelopathy. When reported, SCH has most commonly been described as occurring spontaneously in the thoracic spine, and being idiopathic in nature (anterior thoracic spinal cord herniation, ATSCH) [1-3]. Several theories have been proposed to explain its occurrence, including congenital, inflammatory, and traumatic etiologies alike [1-4]. Even more rarely, SCH has been described to occur in the cervical spine in association with brachial plexus avulsion injuries (BPAI-SCH). In our accompanying article, "Late Cervical Spinal Cord Herniation Resulting from Post-Traumatic Brachial Plexus Avulsion Injury," two cases of BPAI-SCH are presented and discussed in the context of the reviewed literature [5]. Here, pertinent accompanying follow-up data was collected and is presented for the cases, including postoperative radiographic outcome imaging. Furthermore, a table is presented comparing and contrasting ATSCH to BPAI-SCH. Although the two phenomena have been previously grouped together, this table highlights ATSCH and BPAI-SCH as distinct entities; more specifically, BPAI-SCH is a separate, long-term complicating feature of BPAI. This supplementary data helps treating physicians by increasing awareness and knowledge of BPAI-SCH as a distinct entity from ATSCH and cause of delayed neurological deterioration.

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