Misplacement of Stent Into Epidural Venous Plexus With Resultant Cauda Equina Syndrome and Open Surgical Treatment: A Case Report

Benjamin B. Whiting, Celene B. Mulholland, Lorin Daniels, U. Kumar Kakarla, Nicholas Theodore, Laura A. Snyder

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BACKGROUND AND IMPORTANCE: Endovascular therapy has proven to be a safe, minimally invasive treatment for multiple etiologies, but proper precautions must be taken to avoid complications. When complications occur, they should be promptly identified and corrected when possible. This case report describes endovascular stents misplaced into the epidural spinous venous plexus rather than the iliofemoral arteries, causing cauda equina syndrome, as well as the spinal procedure performed to treat the resulting spinal canal compression. CLINICAL PRESENTATION: A 67-yr-old man had undergone what he thought was iliofemoral arterial stenting at an outside hospital for peripheral vascular disease. He presented 8 d later to our hospital with cauda equina syndrome comprising back pain, right L5 radiculopathy, perianal numbness, urinary retention, and constipation. Scans demonstrated stents deployed into the venous system, traversing the spinal canal and the right L5-S1 neural foramen, resulting in severe spinal canal stenosis, right L5-S1 foraminal stenosis, and moderate left S1-S2 foraminal stenosis. The patient underwent an L5-S1 laminectomy with full right L5-S1 facetectomy and left S1-S2 medial facetectomy, with associated L5-S1 posterolateral fusion with fixation to remove the stent and decompress the neural elements. CONCLUSION: Although stent misplacement is an uncommon complication of endovascular therapy, this case demonstrates the importance of ensuring access to the proper vessel before stent placement. Once this complication was recognized, safe removal of the stents was possible and the patient demonstrated meaningful postoperative improvement in symptoms and strength.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E23-E26
JournalOperative neurosurgery (Hagerstown, Md.)
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 2018
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology

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