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Case Reports in Emergency Medicine
Volume 2012, Article ID 170956, 2 pages
Case Report

Dyspnea Caused by Atlantoaxial Subluxation in a Patient with Rheumatoid Arthritis

1Emergency Department, Buddhist Tzu Chi Dalin General Hospital, no. 2, Minsheng Road, Dalin Township, Chiayi County 622, Taiwan
2Division of Emergency Medicine, Keelung Hospital, Department of Health, Executive Yuan, Keelung 201, Taiwan
3School of Medicine, Tzu Chi University, Hualien 970, Taiwan

Received 5 October 2011; Accepted 26 October 2011

Academic Editors: K. Jani and O. Kose

Copyright © 2012 Hsin-Yi Lin et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Atlantoaxial subluxation is a well-known but poorly recognized disease in rheumatoid patients. We report a patient with rheumatoid arthritis whose chief complaint was dyspnea on arrival to the emergency department (ED). After further investigation, spinal cord compression caused by atlantoaxial subluxation was diagnosed. This is an uncommon but important case that ED physicians should be aware of.