acute transverse myelitis


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trans·verse my·e·li·tis

an abrupt onset inflammatory process involving almost the entire thickness of the spinal cord but of limited longitudinal extent, generally one or a few segments; of multiple etiologies, the most common being viral and post-viral causes, and multiple sclerosis.

acute transverse myelitis

an inflammation of the entire thickness of the spinal cord, affecting both the sensory and motor nerves. It can develop rapidly and is accompanied by necrosis and neurological deficit that commonly persist after recovery. Patients in whom spastic reflexes develop soon after the onset of this disease are more likely to recover. This disorder may result from a variety of causes, such as multiple sclerosis, measles, pneumonia, viral infections, and the ingestion of certain toxic agents such as carbon monoxide, lead, and arsenic. Such poisonous substances can destroy the entire circumference of the spinal cord, including the myelin sheaths, axons, and neurons, and can cause hemorrhage and necrosis. There is no effective treatment, and the prognosis for complete recovery is poor. Nursing care includes frequent assessment of vital signs, vigilance for signs of spinal shock, maintenance of a urinary catheter, and proper skin care.

acute transverse myelitis

An acute form of myelitis involving the entire thickness of the spinal cord, developing, for example, subsequent to injury to the spinal cord.
See also: myelitis
References in periodicals archive ?
Irani DN and Kerr DA (2000): 14-3-3 protein in the cerebrospinal fluid of patients with acute transverse myelitis.
Kalita J, Misra UK and Mandel SK (1998): Prognostic predictors of acute transverse myelitis.
Kerr DA and Ayetey H (2002): Immunopathogenesis of acute transverse myelitis.
Misra UK, Kalita J and Kumar S (1996): A clinical, MRI and neurophysiological study of acute transverse myelitis.
Transverse Myelitis Consortium Working Group (2002): Proposed diagnostic criteria and nosology of acute transverse myelitis.
An approach to the diagnosis of acute transverse myelitis.
The differential diagnosis of acute transverse myelitis.

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