Acute aortic occlusion leading to spinal cord ischemia in a 73-year-old: A case report

Khaled M. Taghlabi, Lokeshwar S. Bhenderu, Jaime R. Guerrero, Suraj Sulhan, Amanda V. Jenson, Jesus G. Cruz-Garza, Amir H. Faraji

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Cauda equina syndrome (CES) is typically caused by a compressive etiology from a herniated disk, tumor, or fracture of the spine compressing the thecal sac. Here, we report a CES mimic - acute aortic occlusion (AAO), a rare disease that is associated with high morbidity and mortality. AAO can compromise spinal cord blood supply and leads to spinal cord ischemia. Case Description: Our patient presented with an acute onset of bilateral lower extremity pain and weakness with bowel/bladder incontinence, a constellation of symptoms concerning for CES. However, on initial imaging, there was no compression of his thecal sac to explain his symptomology. Further, investigation revealed an AAO. The patient underwent an emergent aortic thrombectomy with resolution of symptoms. Conclusion: AAO can mimic CES and should be considered in one's differential diagnosis when imaging is negative for any spinal compressive etiologies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberA45
JournalSurgical Neurology International
StatePublished - 2022


  • Acute aortic occlusion
  • Cauda equina syndrome
  • Spinal cord ischemia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology


Dive into the research topics of 'Acute aortic occlusion leading to spinal cord ischemia in a 73-year-old: A case report'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this