Nov 6, 2009

Extramedullary intradural spinal tumors: a review of modern diagnostic and treatment options and a report of a series.


Extramedullary intradural spinal tumors are rare. Less than 15% of all central nervous system (CNS) tumors are spinal. Ninety percent of these patients are older than 20 years. Most of spinal tumors are extradural (50-55%) whereas 40-45% are intradural. Furthermore, 5% are intramedullary and 40% are extramedullary Most common are Schwannomas (29%), followed by meningiomas (25%) and gliomas (22%). These tumors produce pain syndromes, a variety of neurological symptoms- motor, sensory, sphincter or a combination of thereof. All spinal levels may be involved. The diagnostics includes magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) including contrast enhancement, computerizing tomography (CT) scanning (bone windows with reconstruction) and possibly CT myelograms Preferred treatment is the microsurgical radical resection. Perioperative mortality is very low as is serious morbidity We herein discuss various aspects of presenting symptomatology, diagnostics, preoperative planning and tactics, surgical treatment and complications. In addition, we include our own retrospective experience with 14 patients treated over the 5.5 years time interval.