Published: 17 February 2015
Author(s): Barbara Ferrari, Raffaella Rossio, Flora Peyvandi
Section: Internal Medicine Flashcard

A 23-year-old man from the Philippines was admitted to our emergency department for a three-weeks-lasting thoracic back pain, followed by an onset of postural instability; he also complained about repeated alternation of constipation and diarrhoea, associated with burning abdominal pain. On physical examination, the patient showed ataxic gait, a T10 spinal sensory level and symmetric hyperreflexia at lower limbs. A magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan of the spine was performed and revealed the collapse of the ninth thoracic vertebral body and a pathologic mass invading the spinal canal with spinal cord compression (Fig. 1).

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