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Images in Neurology
Mar 2012

Owl's Eye in Spinal Magnetic Resonance Imaging

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: Pediatric Neurology Center, Children's Hospital, Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, Ohio.

Arch Neurol. 2012;69(3):407-408. doi:10.1001/archneurol.2011.1132

A 10-year-old boy fell while playing in a basement, then developed neck pain followed by quadriparesis and bladder and bowel incontinence within a few hours. A spinal magnetic resonance image showed edema in cervical segments 3 through 8. He was administered treatment with intravenous steroids, with a presumptive diagnosis of acute transverse myelitis. At discharge from the rehabilitation hospital, he was ambulatory with limitation of hand functions and intermittent urinary symptoms. Motor examination 3.5 years after the event showed intrinsic hand-muscle wasting and fasciculations, which were greater in the right hand. There was mild proximal and marked distal weakness in the right upper limb with moderate left-distal weakness. There was also mild right lower-limb weakness. Deep tendon reflexes (right > left) were brisk with bilateral extensor plantar. Sensory examination results were normal. Repeat spine magnetic resonance imaging conducted 1.5 years after the event showed features consistent with fibrocartilaginous embolism (Figure, A, B, and C).