Acute Transverse Myelitis

Also known as: transverse myelitis, TM.

What is acute transverse myelitis?

Myelitis is a medical term that refers to the spinal cord when it becomes inflamed. When the inflammation spreads across a larger segment of the spinal cord quickly, it’s known as acute transverse myelitis.

What causes acute transverse myelitis?

Acute transverse myelitis often occurs as a complication to other diseases, such as viral infections, multiple sclerosis or autoimmune disorders. In rare cases, some vaccinations can cause the disease.

What are the symptoms of acute transverse myelitis?

Common symptoms include back pain, sensory changes or weakness in the arms or legs, or bladder or bowel problems.

What are acute transverse myelitis care options?

Intravenous medications, such as steroids, are used to decrease the inflammation. A treatment called plasma exchange therapy that involves replacing the plasma in the blood with special fluids can also help. Certain therapies, such as physical therapy, occupational therapy or psychotherapy can help with managing the symptoms of acute transverse myelitis.

Reviewed by: Anuj Jayakar, MD

This page was last updated on: September 09, 2020 11:26 AM

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