What is it?

Acute (transverse) myelitis is an inflammation of the myelin which is the insulating material that covers nerve cell fibers. This condition leads to an interruption of the neuron massaging through the spinal cord which may result in pain, muscle weakness, sensory problems, paralysis, bladder or bowel dysfunction. There are different causes for transverse myelitis, such as virus infection, bacterial infection, inflammatory conditions such as multiple sclerosis and neuromyelitis optica, autoimmune disorders such as lupus and Sjorgen’s and sarcoidosis.

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Signs & symptoms

Transverse myelitis symptoms may include pain, muscle weakness, sensory problems such as numbness, tingling, coldness or burning sensations, paralysis in the arms or legs, bladder or bowel dysfunction which may include frequent urination, urinary incontinence, difficulty to urinate or constipation.


Diagnosis of transverse myelitis is based upon findings in medical history and physical examination. Other tests may include spinal MRI, lumbar puncture to seek for signs of infection or inflammation in the CSF and blood tests to look for antibodies and inflammation signs.


Treatment of transverse myelitis include intravenous steroids and plasma exchange therapy, antiviral medication, pain medication, and medications used to treat the complications such as urinary dysfunction.

☝️ This is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult with your physician before making any medical decision.

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