Intramedullary spinal cord and filum tumours-long-term outcome: single institution case series

Acta Neurochir (Wien). 2022 Sep 27. doi: 10.1007/s00701-022-05350-3. Online ahead of print.


BACKGROUND: Intramedullary spinal cord tumours are rare and account for about 2-4% of primary CNS tumours. Ependymomas and astrocytomas are most frequent. The aim of this study was to evaluate the long-term neurological outcome, quality of life (QoL), survival, need for additional treatment and frequency of neuropathic pain in a patient group treated at a tertiary university hospital.

METHOD: Retrospective descriptive study of 52 long-term survivors with intramedullary or filum tumours consenting to participate in this study. Fifty-six operations were performed in 48 patients. Clinical and radiological follow-up period was 113 and 117 months, respectively.

RESULTS: Good neurological outcome (ASIA score D or E, modified McCormick grade 1 or 2) was achieved in 88%. We found two negative prognostic factors in regards of severe disability which were large craniocaudal tumour size (p = 0.004) and histologic verified astrocytomas (p = 0.002). SF-36 results showed significantly lower results on all five subdomains concerning physical function, whereas scores for mental health and role emotional showed no significant differences compared to Norwegian norms. Ten patients including all astrocytoma patients, one primitive neuroectodermal tumour and three recurrent tumours of filum terminale had adjuvant therapy. None of the patients with intramedullary ependymoma had adjuvant therapy. Neuropathic pain was present in 54% of patients at the last follow-up.

CONCLUSION: This series shows that good results can be obtained with surgery for intramedullary tumours, even without perioperative neurophysiological monitoring. Multicentre studies are needed for further evaluation of negative and positive prognostic factors to further improve outcome.

PMID:36166105 | DOI:10.1007/s00701-022-05350-3

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