Spontaneous spinal epidural hematomas (SSEH) are a rare cause of spinal cord compression in childhood and especially in infancy. We reviewed the literature and describe a case of an 8-month-old boy with a large spontaneous cervico-thoracic epidural hematoma. With this review we want to detail the importance of early investigation, diagnosis and treatment in infants with SSEH. In our case the infant presented with irritability and crying and an ascending paralysis within four days. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the spine demonstrated an extensive epidural hematoma between C5 and L1, serious medullar compression and secondary cervical and thoracic medullar edema and hydromyelia. An emergency laminectomy was performed with evacuation of a well organized hematoma. There was a partial recuperation of the neurologic symptoms.
Based on the scarce literature which only concerns seven case reports, SSEH is a rare cause of spinal compression in infancy. The presentation is often not specific and neurological symptoms are often lacking in the beginning. However early diagnosis with MRI and prompt neurosurgical intervention are important to improve outcome. (C) 2013 European Paediatric Neurology Society. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.