Acute progressive paraplegia in heroin-associated myelopathy

Kyle W. Mahoney, Meghan Romba, Philippe Gailloud, Izlem Izbudak, Deanna Saylor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


As the opioid epidemic continues, understanding manifestations of abuse, including heroin-associated myelopathy remains essential. Here we describe a young man with a past medical history significant for polysubstance abuse who developed acute-onset, rapidly progressive myelopathy after resumption of intravenous heroin use. He had significant spinal cord involvement with findings suggestive of heroin-associated myelopathy. The salient features of this case include diffusion imaging of the spine and spinal angiography supporting a possible vasculopathy as the pathophysiologic mechanism underlying heroin-associated myelopathy. Additionally, CSF studies showed the transition from a neutrophilic pleocytosis to a lymphocytic pleocytosis suggesting an inflammatory component.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Clinical Neuroscience
StateAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2018


  • Myelitis
  • Spinal cord diseases
  • Spinal cord ischemia
  • Spinal cord vascular diseases

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Physiology (medical)


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