Intradural extramedullary spinal cord tumors: a retrospective study at tertiary referral hospital

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Introduction: Intradural extramedullary (IDEM) spinal cord tumours account two thirds of all intraspinal tumours. The objective of this study was to determine short- and long-term outcomes of surgical patients with IDEM spinal cord tumours, and to see clinical features that could be helpful in management of patients with these lesions (operated by single senior surgeononly).

Methods: A retrospective review of 201 operative IDEM spinal cord tumours cases between 1993 and 2014 was performed. Outcomes were scored at one month and at mean follow-up of 8.5 months postoperatively. In addition, patient demographics, tumour types and locations were also collected. Statistical analysis was conducted utilizing Chi-square and Student's t-tests.

Results: There were 93 men and 108 women (mean age 48 yrs, range 5-87 yrs). Men presented at a younger age than women (42 vs 51 yrs, P<0.02). 165 (82.08 %) patients presented with severe radiculopathy and myelopathy. The 36 (17.91 %) had symptoms of radiculopathy. Mean duration of symptoms prior to diagnosis was 11 months. Schwannomas (113 patients) had the longest mean duration of symptoms (14.9 months), followed by meningiomas (68 patients, 8.4 months), and ependymomas (20 patients, 2 months). Hundred and eighty nine (94%) of patients demonstrated significant improvement at one-month and 186 (92%) at 6-month mean follow-up. Only 39/201 (19.4%) patients had residual focal deficits on long term follow-up.

Conclusions: Surgery for IDEM should be expected to produce significant and dramatic improvement in most of patients. Demographic, tumor-specific and anatomic considerations will be clinically useful while managing IDEM.

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