Cauda equina syndrome due to Factor Xa inhibitor (Rivaroxaban): Case report and review of literature

SR Gowda, PJ O’Hagan, JT Griffiths


Background: Factor Xa inhibitors are widely used by the physicians to reduce the incidence of thrombosis in order to protect the cardiovascular function. Although complications of bleeding and spontaneous gastrointestinal sources have been reported before, there are very sporadic cases of spinal epidural haematoma causing neurological compromise.

Case presentation: We report a case of spontaneous spinal epidural haematoma (SSEH) in an 85-year-old female patient treated with Rivaroxaban, a new agent to prevent the incidence of thrombo-embolic events. Anticoagulant therapy is a recognised risk factor in the development of spontaneous bleeding and haematomas. The patient presented to the emergency department with sudden onset of severe back pain in the lumbar spine associated with paraplegia in the lower limbs. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the spine demonstrated a SSEH from T12 to L5 affecting the cauda equina. Rivaroxaban was discontinued and the patient was monitored as an inpatient. There was gradual improvement in the symptoms of the lower limbs.

Conclusion: This rare condition of incomplete cauda equina syndrome due to Rivaroxaban therapy has not been reported previously. Clinicians must have a high index of suspicion in patients on regular anti-coagulation regimen.

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Case Reports in Clinical Pathology

ISSN 2331-2726(Print)  ISSN 2331-2734(Online)

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