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Compressive myelopathy

Compressive myelopathy refers to neurological deficits that result from abnormal compression of the spinal cord. It most commonly occurs in the cervical spinal cord. 


Any cause of spinal canal stenosis including disc herniation, osteophytes, extradural mass, and/or paravertebral ligamentous ossification 1,2.

Radiographic features


Intramedullary T2 hyperintense signal in the setting of symptoms of acute cord compression is an urgent finding and probably indicates acute cord edema and ischemia 3.

These have been associated with worse outcomes: 3

  • high T2 signal intensity in a compressed segment relative to a noncompressed segment
  • low T1 signal intensity change with high T2 signal intensity at the compressed segment

Article information

rID: 61360
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:

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Cases and figures

  • Case 1
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  • Case 2
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  • Case 3
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  • Case 4: due to aggressive vertebral hemangioma
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  • Case 5: due to ossified ligamentum flavum
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  • Case 6: cervical compressive myelopathy
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  • Case 7: vertebral metastasis
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  • Case 8: due to OPLL
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