Idiopathic Hypertrophic Spinal Pachymeningitis

Ashutosh Gupta, Daniel Um, Rohan Samant, Rodrigo Hasbun, Rohini D. Samudralwar, Shitiz Sriwastava, Rajesh K. Gupta


Hypertrophic pachymeningitis (HP) is a rare presentation with duramater thickening and fibrosis which can result in cranial or spinal compressive disease. Most cases of spinal HP require surgical management. We present an uncommon case of idiopathic hypertrophic spinal pachymeningitis (IHSP) in a 40-year-old male who showed complete improvement to steroids without any further relapses. The patient presented with bilateral upper limb weakness with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) spine showing diffuse dural thickening of the entire spine with cervical cord compression. He had an extensive workup for underlying etiology and worsening symptoms until he was diagnosed with IHSP. Later, he was started on high-dose steroids with good response and no relapse after 2 years. A descriptive analysis of IHSP cases since 2009 including ours showed that it usually occurs after 50s with female preponderance. Weakness and sensory loss are the most common complaints with 50% patients showing clinical signs of myelopathy like hyperreflexia, clonus, Babinski sign and sensory level. Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and inflammatory markers like erythrocytic sedimentation rate (ESR) and C-reactive protein (CRP) can be used to assess disease progression and prognosis. Surgical removal of HP followed by steroids is the best line of management while steroids alone can be tried in cases where clinical signs of myelopathy are absent.

J Med Cases. 2023;14(12):405-412


IHSP; Hypertrophic pachymeningitis; Idiopathic; Steroids; Spinal cord compression

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