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versión impresa ISSN 1130-1473


DELGADO-LOPEZ, P.D.; MARTIN-VELASCO, V.; CASTILLA-DIEZ, J.M.  y  VELASCO-OSES, A.. Symptomatic cervical stenosis due to calcification of the ligamentum flavum after mild cervical trauma. Neurocirugía [online]. 2007, vol.18, n.2, pp.141-146. ISSN 1130-1473.

Introduction. The calcification of ligamentum flavum (CLF) is a rare disease mainly affecting middle or advanced aged Japanese women. Several clinical and radiological features differentiate CLF from the ossification of the ligamentum flavum (OLF). We present a case of symptomatic cervical-dorsal stenosis presenting after mild cervical trauma in a patient with a remarkable CLF who underwent decompressive laminectomy. The literature regarding CLF is reviewed. Case report. A 65 year-old female suffered mild cervical trauma as a consequence of a car accident. A year later she referred progressive cervical and upper dorsal pain without any sensory or motor defect. Spinal magnetic resonance images showed a well-delineated posterior epidural mass, from C2 to T2, which compressed the spinal cord, without signal of myelopathy. She underwent bilateral laminectomy of the affected levels but no clear improvement occurred. The pathological study of the resected pieces showed a remarkable calcification of the ligamentum flavum. Discussion. The CLF is a kind of dystrophic calcification of unknown pathogenesis but likely related to the spinal degenerative changes. It usually presents in Japanese females. A definite relation between CLF and cervical trauma has not been established so far, although the latter may possibly trigger the symptoms. Typically, CLF presents in women in the seventh decade, affects preferably the cervical region, it shows nodular or diffuse pattern in the computerized tomography, it is hypointense in TI and T2-weighted MR sequences and exhibits minimum enhancement after gadolinium administration. CLF differentiates from OLF easily by demonstrating the presence of mature bone formation in the latter. Clinically, CLF may present as radiculopathy or myelopathy. The treatment of choice in symptomatic patients is posterior decompression. Excellent results after laminectomy are reported. Future similar observations will be important from a medical-legal point of view if a relation between CLF and cervical trauma is established since CLF may potentially turn into a severe condition.

Palabras clave : Ligamentum flavum; Dystrophic calcification; Decompressive laminectomy; Cervical trauma.

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