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Spinal Cord Hemorrhage Medication

  • Author: Richard M Zweifler, MD; Chief Editor: Helmi L Lutsep, MD  more...
Updated: Mar 11, 2014

Medication Summary

The goal of pharmacotherapy is to inhibit the effect of anticoagulants in patients taking such medications. Attempts to treat spinal cord swelling (edema) with mannitol or corticosteroids have not been tested in randomized, double-blind studies. If spinal cord trauma can be taken as a situation similar to cord compression, high-dose corticosteroids may be beneficial.


Antidotes (blood modifiers)

Class Summary

Anticoagulated patients may require a blood modifier.



Neutralizes heparin effects by forming a salt.

Phytonadione (AquaMEPHYTON, Mephyton, Vitamin K)


Promotes liver synthesis of clotting factors that in turn inhibit warfarin effects.

Contributor Information and Disclosures

Richard M Zweifler, MD Chief of Neurosciences, Sentara Healthcare; Professor and Chair of Neurology, Eastern Virginia Medical School

Richard M Zweifler, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Neurology, American Stroke Association, Stroke Council of the American Heart Association, American Heart Association, American Medical Association

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Specialty Editor Board

Francisco Talavera, PharmD, PhD Adjunct Assistant Professor, University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Pharmacy; Editor-in-Chief, Medscape Drug Reference

Disclosure: Received salary from Medscape for employment. for: Medscape.

Howard S Kirshner, MD Professor of Neurology, Psychiatry and Hearing and Speech Sciences, Vice Chairman, Department of Neurology, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine; Director, Vanderbilt Stroke Center; Program Director, Stroke Service, Vanderbilt Stallworth Rehabilitation Hospital; Consulting Staff, Department of Neurology, Nashville Veterans Affairs Medical Center

Howard S Kirshner, MD is a member of the following medical societies: Alpha Omega Alpha, American Neurological Association, American Society of Neurorehabilitation, American Academy of Neurology, American Heart Association, American Medical Association, National Stroke Association, Phi Beta Kappa, Tennessee Medical Association

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Chief Editor

Helmi L Lutsep, MD Professor and Vice Chair, Department of Neurology, Oregon Health and Science University School of Medicine; Associate Director, OHSU Stroke Center

Helmi L Lutsep, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Neurology, American Stroke Association

Disclosure: Medscape Neurology Editorial Advisory Board for: Stroke Adjudication Committee, CREST2.

Additional Contributors

Rodrigo O Kuljis, MD Esther Lichtenstein Professor of Psychiatry and Neurology, Director, Division of Cognitive and Behavioral Neurology, Department of Neurology, University of Miami School of Medicine

Rodrigo O Kuljis, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Neurology, Society for Neuroscience

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

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T2-weighted sagittal MRI of the cervical spine shows mixed signal intensity within the spinal cord consistent with posttraumatic intramedullary hemorrhage. The hypointensity reflects deoxyhemoglobin and the hyperintensity reflects either early hemorrhage or edema. The C6 vertebral body is distracted from C7 with extensive ligamentous injury. Courtesy of Francis G. Greiner, MD, Department of Radiology, University of South Alabama College of Medicine.
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