Spontaneous spinal epidural hematoma during pregnancy: a rare obstetric emergency.

Department of Radiodiagnosis, J.N. Medical College and Hospital, A.M.U., Aligarh, 202002 UP, India.
Emergency Radiology 04/2011; 18(5):433-6. DOI: 10.1007/s10140-011-0952-9
Source: PubMed
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    ABSTRACT: Objective:Nontraumatic spinal epidural hematoma (SEH) during pregnancy is rare. Therefore, appropriate management of this occurrence is not well defined. The aim of this study was to extensively review the literature on this subject, to propose some novel treatment guidelines.Methods:Electronic databases, manual reviews and conference proceedings up to December 2011 were systematically reviewed. Articles were deemed eligible for inclusion in this study if they dealt with nontraumatic SEH during pregnancy. Search protocols and data were independently assessed by two authors.Results:In all, 23 case reports were found to be appropriate for review. The mean patient age was 28 years and gestational age was 33.2 weeks. Thirteen cases presented with acute interscapular pain. The clinical picture consisted of paraplegia, which occurred approximately 63 h after pain onset. Spinal cord decompression was performed within an average time of 20 h after neurological deficit onset. Fifteen patients had cesarean deliveries, even when the gestational age was less than 36 weeks.Conclusion:This review failed to identify articles, other than case reports, which could assist in the formation of new guidelines to treat SEH in pregnancy. However, we believe that SEH may be managed neurosurgically, without requiring prior, premature, cesarean section.
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