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  • Author or Editor: Cheng-Chih Liao x
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Cheng-Chih Liao, Shih-Tseng Lee, Wen-Chin Hsu, Li-Rong Chen, Tai-Ngar Lui and Sai-Cheung Lee

Object. Spontaneous spinal epidural hematoma (SSEH) is a rare disease entity. Although many cases have been reported in the literature, controversy persists as to its origin, diagnosis, and timing of treatment. The authors conducted a study in patients treated in their hospital and report the results.

Methods. Clinical data obtained in 35 patients with SSEH were retrospectively reviewed. Age, sex, history of hypertension, and history of anticoagulation therapy were recorded, and data were analyzed to clarify the possible predisposing factors of SSEH. Neurological outcomes were reappraised using a standardized grading system and correlated with the time interval from initial ictus to surgery, duration of complete neurological deficits, and the rapidity of deterioration of paralysis. Nonparametric methods and Spearman rank-correlation coefficients were used for statistical analysis.

Conclusions. Surgery is a safe and effective procedure to treat SSEH. The disease-related mortality rate was 5.7%, the surgery-related complication rate was 2.9%, and there were no operation-related deaths. Neurological outcome after surgery is positively correlated with preoperative neurological deficits (88.9% complete recovery in patients with incomplete neurological deficits compared with 37.5% in those with complete deficits [p < 0.001]). In patients in whom the time interval from initial ictus was shorter (< 48 hours) and in whom the duration of complete neurological symptoms was also briefer (< 12 hours), there is a positive correlation with better neurological and functional recovery (p < 0.05).

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Cheng-Chih Liao, Tai-Ngar Lui, Li-Rong Chen, Chi-Cheng Chuang and Yin-Cheng Huang


Spinal cord injury without radiological abnormality (SCIWORA) was defined in the era when magnetic resonance (MR) images were not popularly used as diagnostic tools. Although it is generally accepted that MR imaging can effectively illustrate the level and severity of spinal cord injury in the acute phase of trauma, only a few reports of MR imaging studies of SCIWORA have been published. The authors retrospectively reviewed nine preschool-aged patients with SCIWORA to study the correlation between MR imaging findings and the outcomes of neurological deficits, with an elimination of the bias for age.


Clinical manifestations, radiological images, surgical records, and MR imaging studies were reviewed. The pre- and postoperative neurological statuses of the patients were reappraised using American Spinal Injury Association scores and Nurick grades. Nonparametric tests were used to analyze the correlations among the variables of patient characteristics, MR imaging appearances of the injured spinal cord, and neurological outcome.


Among the patients with SCIWORA younger than 8 years old, the different patterns of the injured spinal cords could be identified using MR imaging as transection, contusive hemorrhage, traumatic edema, and concussion. The MR imaging patterns of SCIWORA had significant prognostic correlations with the neurological outcomes of these patients; that is, a normal spinal cord appearance was prognostic of a complete recovery of neurological deficits, and intramedullary lesions correlated with permanent deficits with functional disability.