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Paraparesis caused by intradural thoracic spinal granuloma secondary to organizing hematoma: illustrative case

John K. Yue, Young M. Lee, Daniel Quintana, Alexander A. Aabedi, Nishanth Krishnan, Thomas A. Wozny, John P. Andrews, and Michael C. Huang

BACKGROUND

Spinal granulomas form from infectious or noninfectious inflammatory processes and are rarely present intradurally. Intradural granulomas secondary to hematoma are unreported in the literature and present diagnostic and management challenges.

OBSERVATIONS

A 70-year-old man receiving aspirin presented with encephalopathy, subacute malaise, and right lower extremity weakness and was diagnosed with polysubstance withdrawal and refractory hypertension requiring extended treatment. Seven days after admission, he reported increased bilateral lower extremity (BLE) weakness. Magnetic resonance imaging showed T2–3 and T7–8 masses abutting the pia, with spinal cord compression at T2–3. He was transferred to the authors’ institution, and work-up showed no vascular shunting or malignancy. He underwent T2–3 laminectomies for biopsy/resection. A firm, xanthochromic mass was resected en bloc. Pathology showed organizing hematoma without infection, vascular malformation, or malignancy. Subsequent coagulopathy work-up was unremarkable. His BLE strength significantly improved, and he declined resection of the inferior mass. He completed physical therapy and was cleared for placement in a skilled nursing facility.

LESSONS

Spinal granulomas can mimic vascular lesions and malignancy. The authors present the first report of paraparesis caused by intradural granuloma secondary to organizing hematoma, preceded by severe refractory hypertension. Tissue diagnosis is critical, and resection is curative. These findings can inform the vigilant clinician for expeditious treatment.