Spinal cord ischemia

Case contributed by Matt Skalski


Acute onset of numbness and weakness in the lower extremities.

Patient Data

Age: Adult
Gender: Male

There is increased T2 signal in the central grey matter throughout the visualized spinal cord down to the level of the conus, creating the so-called owl's eyes appearance. An associated aortic dissection is noted.

Scattered areas of increased T1 and T2 signal in the psoas muscles, most likely due to denervation edema or hypo-perfusion.


Extensive aortic dissection, Type 1A, extending into the superior mesenteric artery. 

Case Discussion

Typical example of acute spinal cord ischemia secondary to an aortic dissection

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