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What is SAS and how is it caused?

By July 7, 2014 - 5:53pm
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I am wondering what spinal artery syndrome is and who it can affect? What are the chances of recovery? 

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Hello Ali,

Anterior spinal artery syndrome is a type of incomplete spinal cord injury involving an interruption of the blood supply to the anterior portion of the spinal cord. The anterior spinal artery supplies blood to the anterior portion of the spinal cord. Injury of the motor and sensory paths of the anterior part of the spinal cord causes anterior spinal artery syndrome.

Individuals cannot feel coarse sensations such as pain and temperature. They still possess the ability to sense stimuli arising within the body regarding position, motion, and equilibrium. The sense of touch is preserved.

Any one who sustains a compromised blood supply within the aorta can develop this syndrome. Examples include aneurysms, dissections, direct trauma to the aorta, surgeries and atherosclerosis. Acute disc herniation, cervical spondylosis, kyphoscoliosis, damage to the spinal column and neoplasms.

Prognosis is poor. The mortality rate is approximately 20%, with 50% of individuals living with anterior cord syndrome having very little or no changes in symptoms.


July 8, 2014 - 5:18pm
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