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Rapid Progression to Complete Paraplegia After Electroacupuncture in a Patient With Spinal Dural Arteriovenous Fistula: A Case Report

Park, KH | Jeon, CH  | Chung, NS  | Lee, HD
Frontiers in surgery, 8. : 645884-645884, 2021
Journal Title
Frontiers in surgery
Spinal dural arteriovenous fistula (SDAVF) usually has an insidious clinical course, but 5–15% of the cases have acute exacerbations. In some cases, there is an abrupt progression to paraplegia following an epidural injection or anesthesia. Electroacupuncture is a form of acupuncture that applies a small electrical current to needles inserted at specific points in the body. It is widely used for its analgesic effect on back pain. In this study, we report a rare case of SDAVF in which the symptoms of a patient worsened rapidly to complete paraplegia within a few hours after applying electroacupuncture to his back. A 49-year-old man had rapid progression to complete paraplegia within a few hours of electroacupuncture on his back. MRI showed SDAVF and worsening of cord signal change. An emergency operation was performed to ligate the SDAVF. The patient was able to walk 1 month post-operatively. Most of the neurological deficits had disappeared by 1 year post-operatively, with normalization of MRI. Our case emphasizes that SDAVF patients should be careful when exposed to any circumstances that might affect the circulation around the dural arteriovenous fistula, such as electroacupuncture. Patients should also be warned in advance about the possibility of rapid exacerbation of neurological symptoms. Regardless of the severity of the neurological symptoms, immediate treatment is essential for recovery and a better outcome.

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Journal Papers > School of Medicine / Graduate School of Medicine > Orthopedic Surgery
Ajou Authors
이, 한동  |  전, 창훈  |  정, 남수
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