Hirayama disease – Early MRI diagnosis of subacute medullary ischemia: A case report

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Abstract

Background: Hirayama disease (HD) is a rare, benign, and self-limiting motor neuron disorder that results in selective motor impairment of the C7-T1 myotomes. It is characterized by progressive, unilateral, or bilateral asymmetric muscle atrophy of the distal upper extremities and myelopathy.Case Description: A 23-year-old male presented with bilateral atrophy of the thenar/hypothenar eminences/interosseous muscles, plus left-hand weakness. The cervical MRI documented subacute ischemic damage of the distal cervical cord. To rule out a tumor and reduce questionable cord compression, the patient underwent a C5–C6 anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF) immediately followed by a laminectomy with durotomy and to obtain a spinal cord biopsy. When the histology confirmed focal cord ischemia consistent with HD, it was clear that both operations were unnecessary.Conclusion: Establishing the diagnosis of HD is based on clinical findings and MRI/flexion MR features which include the demonstration of an increased T2-weighted intramedullary cord signal, enlargement of the posterior epidural space, and segmental spinal cord atrophy. The presence of HD should be recognized as a “nonsurgical entity,” and conservative nonsurgical management should be employed.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages3
JournalSURGICAL NEUROLOGY INTERNATIONAL
Publication statusPublished - 2020

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