Spinal Cord Hemorrhage Workup

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

See the list below:

  • CBC count with platelets

  • Prothrombin time (PT)/INR and activated partial thromboplastin time (aPTT) - To exclude coagulopathy


Imaging Studies

See the list below:

  • Spinal MRI

    • Preferred test to confirm presence and delineate location of hemorrhage

    • May indicate underlying pathology

      T2-weighted sagittal MRI of the cervical spine sho 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.
  • CT myelography - Use when MRI is unavailable or if patient cannot tolerate MRI



See the list below:

  • Lumbar puncture: Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) is usually bloody or xanthochromic and protein content is increased.

  • Spinal angiography: Selective spinal angiography may be helpful in delineating the size, location, configuration, and blood flow of a malformation.