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Cervical myelopathy induced by pseudogout in ligamentum flavum and retro-odontoid mass: a case report.

Spinal Cord 2006 November
STUDY DESIGN: Retrospective case study.

OBJECTIVES: Report a rare case of cervical myelopathy induced by calcium pyrophosphate dehydrate (CPPD) deposition in multiple cervical levels.

SETTING: An area teaching hospital in Taiwan.

METHOD: A patient with cervical myelopathy was evaluated by computerized tomography (CT) scan and magnetic resonance (MR) image. CPPD deposition known as pseudogout was diagnosed and approved by a polarized microscope.

RESULT: A prominent hypertrophy of ligmentum flavum and a retro-odontoid bulging mass induced cord compression were found in CT scan and MR image. CPPD deposition was confirmed by the histological examinations in the ligamentum flavum at the spinal levels of C3-C6. After decompression surgery of spine and comprehensive rehabilitation, the patient's neurological symptoms subsided and her neurological functions improved leading to a good prognosis.

CONCLUSION: CPPD deposition in cervical spine occurring at multiple levels is rare. Image studies with CT scan and MR are complementary in the diagnosis of CPPD-induced myelopathy. Surgical decompression is always required and expected to have a good outcome.

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