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Paget sarcoma of the cervical vertebrae: an autopsy case report and review of the literature.

A 69 year old Japanese woman was hospitalized for emergency treatment of sudden onset of tetraplegia and somnolence. The patient had a long history of occipital pain without definite diagnosis. After admission, the patient progressively developed generalized palsy including respiratory paralysis, and died of bronchopneumonia. Autopsy revealed osteosarcoma of the cervical vertebrae with the features of Paget's disease involving the skull and the cervical vertebrae. Paget sarcoma is rare in Japan, where Paget's disease of the bone is an uncommon condition. A review of the world literature failed to reveal any reports describing Paget sarcoma of the cervical vertebrae. The present report indicates that the development of Paget sarcoma in the upper cervical vertebrae may cause life-threatening neurologic complications.

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