Acute Transverse Myelitis | Treatments

What are the treatment options for acute transverse myelitis?

Treatment of ATM usually requires a child to be hospitalized for one to two weeks. Medications are used to reduce the inflammation (swelling) in the spinal cord. The main medication that is used is called methylprednisolone (Solu-medrol®), which is a corticosteroid given by IV once a day for three to five days. This medication is completely different from the illegal steroids that some athletes use.

Most children with ATM improve with high doses of methylprednisolone. If this medication doesn't work, there are other treatments that can be tried (such as plasmapheresis or intravenous immunoglobulin therapy).

Some children will be placed on a steroid called prednisone for a short period of time. Your child may also be prescribed a medication to prevent stomach irritation.If your child is experiencing pain, a pain management plan will be developed.

After discharge from the hospital, some children go to a rehabilitation hospital to work on things like strength and balance. Some children go home and work with a physical therapist. It is important to follow up with the neurologist in the outpatient clinic. The neurologist will check your child's neurological examination, and will also perform a follow-up.