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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Idiopathic Spinal Epidural Lipomatosis Causing Cauda Equina Syndrome


Spinal epidural lipomatosis (SEL) is a rare condition defined by the hypertrophy of adipose tissue in the spinal epidural space, often resulting in compression of nerves in the region affected.1 This case describes a 64-year-old man who presented with cauda equina syndrome. Magnetic resonance imaging of the spine revealed extensive SEL of the lumbar spine. He underwent decompression and fusion with subsequent improvement of symptoms. This is one of the few cases reported of lumbar SEL in a non-obese patient in absence of long-term corticosteroid usage. We review possible etiologies.

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