Acta Neurochirurgica

, Volume 55, Issue 3–4, pp 303–315 | Cite as

Cauda equina syndrome in ankylosing spondylitis

Anatomical, diagnostic, and therapeutic considerations
  • M. Soeur
  • G. Monseu
  • D. Baleriaux-Waha
  • M. Duchateau
  • E. Williame
  • J. L. Pasteels


This article describes a case of cauda equina syndrome associated with ankylosing spondylitis, and reviews 28 additional cases in the literature. The neurological symptoms appear late in the evolution of spondylitis, when it is at an inactive stage. The diagnosis is easily confirmed by myelography, with water-soluble contrast and performed in a supine position, and by computerized tomography (CT) scan of the lumbar spine. The typical features are a dilated lumbar sac with multiple dorsal diverticula. The pathogenesis of this entity remains the subject of speculation. Arachnoiditis with subsequent adhesions is the most likely explanation. No treatment has proved helpful so far. Surgery is not indicated.


Ankylosing spondylitis Bechterew's disease rhizomelic arthritis cauda equina syndrome CT Scan 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1981

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. Soeur
    • 1
  • G. Monseu
    • 1
  • D. Baleriaux-Waha
    • 4
  • M. Duchateau
    • 3
  • E. Williame
    • 2
  • J. L. Pasteels
    • 5
  1. 1.Department of Neurology of St Gilles HospitalBrusselsBelgium
  2. 2.Department of Physical Medicine of St Gilles HospitalBrusselsBelgium
  3. 3.Department of Surgery of St Gilles HospitalBrusselsBelgium
  4. 4.CT Unit of the University Hospital Bordet in BrusselsBelgium
  5. 5.Histological Laboratory of the Free University of BrusselsBelgium

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