UMEM Educational Pearls

Category: Vascular

Title: Aortic Occlusion Masquerading as Cauda Equina Syndrome

Keywords: Aortic, Cauda Equina Syndrome (PubMed Search)

Posted: 8/6/2007 by Rob Rogers, MD (Updated: 9/21/2020)
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Beware older patients who present with lower extremity weakness and evidence of cauda equina syndrome. Patients with aortic occlusive syndromes (thrombosis) can look exactly like a spinal cord patient. Pearl: Always perform a good pulse check and examination of the skin (looking for skin mottling, i.e. livedo) in older patients who for all practicle purposes look like cord compression. The two conditions can lool a lot alike. And missing aortic occlusion may be fatal.