The first known case of a "brown tumor" associated with secondary hyperparathyroidism causing paraplegia is described. A 69-year-old white woman with chronic renal failure due to hypertension was admitted for back pain, and while she was under observation, paraplegia developed. A complete block was demonstrated by myelography. Computed tomography confirmed a mass at the level of obstruction, and results of biopsy were consistent with "brown tumor." Neurologic symptoms were markedly improved with high-dose corticosteroids and a debulking procedure. This entity is important to recognize because prompt treatment of the hyperparathyroidism or decompression of the tumor mass by surgical means or corticosteroid administration can provide marked improvement in symptoms.
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