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To assess the prognostic value of neurologic function (NF) in patients with astrocytic spinal cord glioma, we conducted a retrospective study of 25 patients who were treated at our institution between January 1970 and December 1999. The median age was 40 years, and the median follow-up was 54 months. Nineteen patients had a biopsy, 5 had a subtotal resection, and 1 had a gross total resection. Twenty-two patients received postoperative radiotherapy to a median dose of 45 Gy. NF ratings of 1 and 2 were considered favorable, and 3 and 4 were considered unfavorable, based on a scale of 1 to 4. Dual neuropathologic review confirmed the tumor to be low, intermediate, or high grade, based on the WHO grades I-II, III, or IV, respectively. Actuarial rates of local control (LC), progression-free survival (PFS), and overall survival (OS) were analyzed. Our study results revealed that an improved 5-year OS rate was associated with favorable NF at diagnosis (73% vs. 22% for patients with unfavorable NF; P = 0.04) and favorable NF before radiation therapy (89% vs. 28% for patients with unfavorable NF; P = 0.049). There was a significant difference in OS based on tumor grade ( P < 0.001) and age (risk ratio, 1.04; P = 0.027). PFS and LC were significantly better for young patients and those with lower tumor grade ( P < 0.05). A multivariate analysis of age, NF at diagnosis, and postoperative NF for all patients showed postoperative NF and age to be independent prognostic factors for OS. We conclude that favorable NF may be associated with improved outcome in patients with astrocytic spinal cord glioma.