Le Coup de Poignard Rachidien: A Historical Perspective.

Academic Article


  • A spinal subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) is uncommon. One of the earliest detailed analyses of a spinal SAH was in 1928 by the French physician Paul Michon, who coined the term "le coup de poignard rachidien" to describe the pathognomonic, intense spinal pain experienced by patients with spinal SAH, equating it to being stabbed by a dagger. Michon sub-classified spinal SAH into the upper and lower forms, pointing out that the stabbing spinal pain is more characteristic of SAH in the cervical and thoracic regions and especially in the interscapular region. Translation and subsequent analysis of Michon's original French paper published in La Presse Medicale in 1928 shed light on two cases in which patients presented with le coup de poignard rachidien and signs of spinal cord dysfunction but little, if any, intracranial symptoms. The patients both showed symptomatic relief following therapeutic lumbar puncture. Later, authors have questioned the notion that intense spinal or interscapular pain is mandatory in the diagnosis of spinal SAH and have additionally provided evidence contrary to Michon's assertion that intracranial symptoms, if any, occur later in the progression of spinal SAH and are largely insignificant.
  • Authors

    Published In

  • Cureus  Journal
  • Keywords

  • hemorrhage, michon, spinal, subarachnoid
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Pubmed Id

  • 24995419
  • Author List

  • Omar NB; Miller J; Shoja MM; Harrigan MR; Tubbs RS
  • Start Page

  • e4175
  • Volume

  • 11
  • Issue

  • 3