PURPOSE: Spinal epidural hematoma is a rare clinical entity. We present a case of atypical contrast enhancement pattern in a chronic epidural hematoma of the lumbar spine mimicking an extradural tumor.
CASE REPORT: A 76-year-old man on treatment with oral anticoagulants presented with a 1-month history of lower back pain radiating into his right upper thigh accompanied by spinal claudication. Preoperative MRI showed a posterior epidural lesion compressing the cauda equina with almost homogeneous contrast enhancement. Surgery was performed under the presumptive diagnosis of spinal extradural neoplasm. Intraoperative and histological findings were consistent with a chronic spinal epidural hematoma. Postoperatively, the patient had instant relief of his symptoms.
CONCLUSION: Chronic spinal epidural hematoma may resemble an extradural tumor, requiring surgery for histological confirmation and decompression.