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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Cervical myelopathy due to ossification of the posterior longitudinal ligament. A clinical, radiological and evoked potentials study in six Chinese patients.

Six consecutive Chinese patients with cervical myelopathy due to ossification of the posterior longitudinal ligament (OPLL) who presented in a 4 yr period were studied. There were 5 males and 1 female whose mean age at presentation was 67 yrs. The common clinical features were spastic tetraparesis more marked in the lower limbs, spinothalamic and posterior column sensory deficits of varying degree and sphincter disturbance in advanced cases. OPLL was diagnosed on plain radiographs and cord compression ascertained by conventional and computer-assisted myelography. Somatosensory evoked potentials correlated with posterior column signs and appeared to reflect the clinical course following treatment. While the cord pathology in OPLL is similar to that of cervical spondylotic myelopathy (CSM), the pathogenetic mechanism probably differs in one aspect. Compression by OPLL is the determining factor in most cases whereas the combined presence of a congenitally narrow canal and spondylosis is essential for the development of CSM. Other contributory factors include coexisting spondylosis, a congenitally narrow canal, friction between cord and OPLL during neck movement and acute trauma. Cord damage is probably mediated by ischaemia which is due to disturbances of the microcirculation caused by the mechanical factors.[1]


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