Rinsho Shinkeigaku (Clinical Neurology)

Case Report

A case of high cervical cord infarction presenting with cardiopulmonary arrest due to respiratory dysfunction

Reiko Okada, M.D.1), Yasutaka Murakami, M.D.1), Ayami Machiyama, M.D.2), Jyunki Jinno, M.D.1), Makoto Hideshima, M.D., Ph.D.1) and Hideaki Kanki, M.D., Ph.D.1)

1) Department of Neurology, Osaka Police Hospital
2) Emergency and Critical Care Medical Center, Osaka Police Hospital

A 46-year-old man with neck pain and impaired physical mobility called for emergency medical services. The patient was able to communicate with the emergency medical team upon their arrival. However, he went into cardiopulmonary arrest 5 minutes later. Cardiopulmonary resuscitation was immediately performed, and the patient was admitted to our hospital with a Glasgow Coma Scale score of E1V1M1. His respiratory rate was 5 breaths/minute and his partial pressure of carbon dioxide in arterial blood (PaCO2) was 127 mmHg, necessitating intubation and ventilation. His consciousness improved as the PaCO2 level decreased. However, he was unable to be weaned off the ventilator and breathe independently. Neurological examination revealed flaccid quadriplegia, pain sensation up to the C5 level, absence of deep tendon reflexes, indifferent plantar responses, and absence of the rectoanal inhibitory reflex. Magnetic resonance imaging showed a hyperintense lesion with slight enlargement of the anterior two-thirds of the spinal cord at the C2-C4 level on both T2-weighted and diffusion-weighted images, consistent with a diagnosis of spinal cord infarction. Although the quadriplegia and sensory loss partially improved, the patient was unable to be weaned from the ventilator. Cervical cord infarction of the anterior spinal artery can cause rapid respiratory failure leading to cardiopulmonary arrest. Therefore, cervical cord infarction should be included as a differential diagnosis when examining patients after cardiopulmonary resuscitation.
Full Text of this Article in PDF (1662K)

(CLINICA NEUROL, 64: 333−338, 2024)
key words: cervical cord infarction, cardiopulmonary arrest, respiratory dysfunction, anterior spinal artery

(Received: 9-Aug-23)