Total laminectomy for the removal of intradural-extramedullary spinal cord tumors has been used widely, but postoperative complications often develop, such as kyphosis, spinal instability, and persistent back pain. In this study, we evaluated seven patients with intradural-extramedullary spinal cord tumors with respect to the value of unilateral limited laminectomy. Our cases included six schwannomas, and one meningioma. The cervical region was involved in four cases, the thoracolumbar region in two cases, and the lumbar region in one case. The rationale for choosing a unilateral approach is to preserve musculoligamentous attachments and posterior bony elements as much as possible. The patients were mobilized on the third postoperative day and preoperative neurological symptoms were recovered within a few weeks. We did not observe any complication relating to unilateral limited laminectomy and at follow-up evaluation (at 3 and 12 months postoperatively), none of the patients showed spinal deformity or spinal instability. We think that the unilateral limited laminectomy is a safe and efficient technique for the treatment of intradural-extramedullary spinal cord tumors. We suggest that this technique is one of the best treatments for these tumors.
Laminectomy; Intradural extramedullary spinal cord neoplams
Pure ventral midline giant schwannoma is an extremely rare entity. Spinal intradural extramedullary schwannomas commonly occur posterolateral or anterolateral to the spinal cord. A case of a pure midline ventrally situated giant pan cervical extramedullary schwannoma in an 18-year-old male patient with compressive myelopathy and sphincter involvement is presented. Spinal MR imaging showed a midline ventrally situated extramedullary tumor with severe spinal cord compression extending from clivus to C7 vertebra. It was resected through a posterolateral approach. Histology was consistent with a schwannoma. Post operative MR imaging showed no evidence of the tumor. The radiological features, pathogenesis and surgical strategies in management of these difficult tumors are discussed and the relevant literature is briefly reviewed.
Extramedullary; Intradural; Giant schwannoma; Spine; Ventral location
To present the profiles of spinal cord tumors that can be removed through a unilateral hemilaminectomy and to demonstrate its usefulness for benign spinal cord tumors that significantly occupy the spinal canal.
From June 2004 to October 2010, 25 spinal cord tumors were approached with unilateral hemilaminectomy. We calculated the cross-sectional occupying ratio (CSOR) of tumor to spinal canal before and after the operations.
The locations of the tumors were intradural extramedullary in 20 cases, extradural in 2, and intramedullary in 3. The levels of the tumors were lumbar in 12, thoracic 9, and cervical 4. In all cases, the tumor was removed grossly and totally without damaging spinal cord or roots. The mean height and width of the lesions we195re 17.64 mm (3-47.5) and 12.62 mm (4-32.7), respectively. The mean CSOR was 69.40% (range, 27.8-96.9%). Postoperative neurological status showed improvement in all patients except one whose neurologic deficit remained unchanged. Postoperative spinal stability was preserved during the follow-up period (mean, 21.5 months) in all cases. Tumor recurrence did not develop during the follow-up period.
Unilateral hemilaminectomy combined with microsurgical technique provides sufficient space for the removal of diverse spinal cord tumors. The basic profiles of the spinal cord tumors which can be removed through the unilateral hemilaminectomy demonstrate its role for the surgery of the benign spinal cord tumors in various sizes.
Laminectomy; Microsurgery; Spinal cord neoplasms; Unilateral hemilaminectomy; Spinal ligaments
A retrospective study of intradural extramedullary schwannoma.
The purpose of this study was to compare treatment results in the differential surgery of intradural extramedullary schwannoma.
A reference guide to the surgical procedures available to treat intradural extramedullary schwannoma has not yet been established.
The study retrospectively reviewed 110 patients: Group A: laminectomy+microscopic excision; Group B: hemilaminectomy+microscopic excision; Group C: laminectomy+microscopic excision+pedicle screw fixation. Researchers selected patients for this retrospective review by applying the following criteria: 1) back pain spread out from the tumor level, sensory and motor loss; 2) treatment by surgery; 3) clinical diagnosis made by physical examination, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and pathology; 4) a minimum clinical and radiologic follow-up of 12 months. The clinical outcomes were assessed by comparing the Visual Analogue Pain Scores (VAS) and the Japanese Orthopedic Association Scores (JOA score). The study also performed a cost-effectiveness analysis.
Cervical vertebrae: The estimated blood loss in Group B was significantly less than in Group C (P<0.05) (Table 1). Thoracic vertebrae: The duration of hospital stay and estimated blood loss in Group A was significantly less than in Group C (P<0.05) (Table 2, 3). Lumbar vertebrae: The resection rate in Group C was significantly higher than in Group A and Group B (P<0.05) (Table 4). Treatment in Group B was the least expensive, and therefore, the most cost-effective.
In the case of appropriate surgical indications, the study suggests that hemilaminectomy+microscopic excision is advantageous in the removal of cervical schwannoma, and that laminectomy+microscopic excision is advantageous in the removal of thoracic schwannoma; lumbar intradural extramedullary schwannoma can be managed by laminectomy+microscopic excision+pedicle screw fixation.
Giant intradural extramedullary schwannomas of the thoracic spine are not common. Schwannomas, that is, tumors derived from neoplastic Schwann cells, and neurofibromas represent the most common intradural extramedullary spinal lesions. We report the case of a patient with a giant thoracic schwannoma presenting unusually with acute abdominal pain and with delayed neurological impairment.
A 26-year-old Hispanic man with no previous medical problems presented with acute periumbilical pain. After extensive work-up including an exploratory laparotomy for appendectomy, magnetic resonance imaging scans of the lumbar and thoracic spine revealed a giant intradural extramedullary thoracic schwannoma within the spinal canal posterior to the T9, T10, and T11 vertebral bodies. Magnetic resonance imaging signal prolongation was noted in the spinal cord both rostral and caudal to the schwannoma. The patient underwent an urgent laminectomy from T8 to L1. After sacrificing the T10 root, the tumor was removed en bloc. Postoperatively, the patient improved significantly gaining antigravity strength in both lower extremities.
The T10 dermatome is represented by the umbilical region. This referred pain may represent a mechanism by which a giant thoracic schwannoma may present as acute abdominal pain. Acute, intense abdominal pain with delayed neurologic deficit is a rare presentation of a thoracic schwannoma but should be considered as a possible cause of abdominal pain presenting without clear etiology. Although these lesions may be delayed in their diagnosis, early diagnosis and treatment may lead to an improved clinical outcome.
This study is to report our experience of 40 cases of spinal schwannoma.
From 1995 to 2006, medical records were retrospectively reviewed in 40 cases of spinal schwannoma.
We treated 40 spinal schwannomas in 38 (22 male and 16 female) patients. The mean age was 50.2. Four cases were sited in the cervical spine, 11 cases in the thoracic spine, and 25 cases in the lumbar spine. Two patients showed recurrences. Thirty-eight cases were intradural-extramedullary type and 2 cases were extradural. Two cases (5%) including 1 recurred case had no postoperative motor improvement. Ninety-five percents of patients improved on postoperative motor grade.
Spinal schwannoma is mostly benign and extramedullary tumor. There were 2 recurred cases (5%) that had history of previous subtotal removal at first operation and had shown worse prognosis compared with the cases without recurrence. To reduce the recurrence of spinal schannoma, total excision of tumor mass should be done.
Spinal schwannoma; Recurrence; Laminoplasty
Meningiomas of the spine are the most common benign intradural extramedullary lesions and account for 25%–46% of all spinal cord tumors in adults. The goal of treatment is complete surgical resection while preserving spinal stability. Usually, these lesions occur in the thoracic region and in middle-aged women. Clinical presentation is usually nonspecific and the symptoms could precede the diagnosis by several months to years, especially in older people, in whom associated age-related diseases can mask the tumor for a long time. We report a series of 30 patients, aged 70 years or more, harboring intradural extramedullary spinal meningiomas. No subjects had major contraindications to surgery. A minimally invasive approach ( hemilaminectomy and preservation of the outer dural layer) was used to remove the tumor, while preserving spinal stability and improving the watertight dural closure. We retrospectively compared the outcomes in these patients with those in a control group subjected to laminectomy or laminotomy with different dural management. In our experience, the minimally invasive approach allows the same chances of complete tumor removal, while providing a better postoperative course than in a control group.
spinal meningioma; elderly; hemilaminectomy; outer dural layer; inner dural layer; minimally invasive surgery
To evaluate the clinical results of gross total resection in the surgical approach to spinal ependymoma.
Between June 1995 and May 2009, 13 males and 8 females (mean age 34) diagnosed with intramedullary or extramedullary spinal ependymoma were surgically treated at our centre. The neurological and functional state of each patient were evaluated according to the modified McCormick scale.
The average follow-up duration was 54 months (ranging from 12 to 168 months). The locations of the lesions were: thoracic region (4, 19%), lumbar region (7, 34%), cervical region (4, 19%), cervicothoracic region (3, 14%) and conus medullaris (3, 14%). Four patients (19%) had deterioration of neurological function in the early postoperative period. The neurological function of three patients was completely recovered at the 6th postoperative month, while that of another patient was recovered at the 14th month. In the last assessment of neurological function, 20 patients (95%) were assessed as McCormick grade 1. No perioperative complications developed in any of our patients. In one patient's 24-month assessment, tumour recurrence was observed. Re-operation was not performed and the patient was taken under observation.
Two determinants of good clinical results after spinal ependymoma surgery are a gross total resection of the tumour and a good neurological condition before the operation. Although neurological deficits in the early postoperative period can develop as a result of gross total tumour resection, significant improvement is observed six months after the operation.
Ependymoma; Intramedullary ependymoma; Intramedullary tumour; Functional outcome
Schwannomas are rare encapsulated tumors that derive from the nerve sheath and should be removed due to their infrequent, but existent possibility of malignancy.
We report a case of a mass located in the L5 lumbar spine in a 42 year old man, presented with intermittent lumbar pain. Ultrasound, CT and MRI were used to examine the characteristics of the lesion. Fine needle aspiration showed cytologic characteristics of benign schwannoma and final histological diagnosis was ancient schwannoma. An extraperitoneal approach, through a left paramedian incision was used to approach the site of the mass. The lesion originated from the nerve root of the L4-L5 lumbar spinal space and a complete excision was achieved.
A great variety of tumors should be differentiated when a paraspinal mass is discovered, including neurogenic, neuroendocrine and vascular tumors, as well as malignancies, cystic and inflammatory masses. Fine needle aspiration is a useful and reliable tool in the preoperative evaluation of paraspinal masses. A review of the literature is also presented.
Thoracic intramedullary schwannomas are rare spinal cord tumors. Most of these tumors have been reported as a single lesion in the spinal cord. The authors report the first case of intramedullary schwannoma accompanying by extramedullary beads-like daughter masses of the thoracic spine. A 68-year-old male presented with walking disturbance and decreased sensation below T10 dermatome. Imaging workup revealed an intramedullary mass at T6 and T7. T6 and T7 laminectomy and mass removal were performed. Intraoperatively, extramedullary beads-like daughter masses along the nerve roots adjacent to intramedullary mass were identified. Total removal of intramedullary lesion and partial resection of extramedullary masses were done. Histological analysis confirmed the diagnosis of schwannoma. The patient could ambulate independently at postoperative 1 month without any neurological sequelae. The authors experienced a surgical case of intramedullary schwannoma accompanying by extramedullary beads-like same pathologies in the thoracic spine.
Neurilemmoma; Intramedullary lesion; Spinal cord neoplasm
The aim of this study was to identify the anatomical location and course of the facial nerve (FN) and their relationship to the tumor size in surgically treated vestibular schwannomas.
A retrospective study was conducted on 163 patients who had been treated by the microsurgical resection for a newly diagnosed vestibular schwannoma between 1995 and 2005 (mean age of 46.1 years; 108 females and 55 males). Surgery was carried out via retrosigmoid approach in all patients with the electromyographic monitoring for the FN function. The anatomical location and course of the FN along the tumor surface were verified in each patient during the microsurgery, and were classified into 4 groups : 1) the FN displaced along the ventral and superior surface of the tumor (VS); 2) the ventral and central (VC); 3) the ventral and inferior (VI); and 4) the dorsal (Do).
The FN displacement was identified as the followings : VS in 91 patients (55.8%); VC in 57 (35.0%); VI in 14 (8.6%); and Do in 1 (0.6%). In the subgroup with tumors less than 2 cm in diameter (n=23), the FN was displaced along the ventral and central surface of the tumor in the majority (65.2%), whereas, in the patients with tumors larger than 2cm (n=140), it was displaced along the ventral and superior surface most frequently (59.3%).
The FN can be displaced variably in vestibular schwannomas, and most frequently along the ventral and superior surface of the tumor, especially in large ones.
Vestibular schwannoma; Facial nerve; Microsurgery
Laminectomy is generally the treatment of choice for removal of spinal tumors. However, it has been shown that laminectomy may cause instability due to damage of posterior elements of the spinal column, which may induce subsequent kyphosis in the future. Therefore, to reduce the risk of deformity and spinal instability after laminectomy, hemilaminectomy has been used. However, the medium to long-term effects of hemilaminectomy on spinal sagittal alignment is not well understood. The present study was performed to evaluate the clinical outcomes, including spinal sagittal alignment of patients, associated with spinal cord tumors treated by surgical excision using hemilaminectomy.
Materials and Methods
Twenty hemilaminectomy operations at our institute for extramedullary or extradural spinal cord tumors in 19 patients were evaluated retrospectively with an average follow-up of 85 months (range, 40-131 months). Neurological condition was evaluated using the improvement ratio of the Japanese Orthopaedic Association Score (JOA score) for cervical, thoracic myelopathy, or back pain, and sagittal alignment by sagittal Cobb angle of the hemilaminectomied area.
The mean improvement ratio of neurological results was 56.7% in the cervical spine (p < 0.01, n = 10), 26.3% in the thoracic spine (not significant, n = 5), and 48.6% in the lumbar spine (NS, n = 5). The sagittal Cobb angle was 4.3 ± 18.0° in the preoperative period and 5.4 ± 17.6° at the latest follow-up, indicating no significant deterioration.
Hemilaminectomy is useful for extramedullary or extradural spinal cord tumors in providing fair neurological status and restoration of spinal sagittal alignment in medium to long-term follow-up.
Hemilaminectomy; surgical treatment; spinal cord tumors; middle to long term clinical outcome; sagittal alignment
Thoracic dumbbell tumors are relatively rare, usually arising from neurogenic elements. Methods for surgical removal thereof remain controversial. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the surgical results of a single-stage posterior approach with laminectomy and costotransversectomy only for the management of thoracic dumbbell tumors.
Materials and Methods
Eight cases of thoracic large dumbbell tumor were analyzed retrospectively: seven men and one woman (mean age, 49 years). Pathologic findings included schwannoma in five patients, neurofibroma in two patients (Recklinghausen in one patient), and ganglioneuroma in one patient. All patients underwent single-stage removal of dumbbell tumors by a posterior approach followed by laminectomy and costotransversectomy combined with instrumentation. Clinical and radiologic outcomes were reviewed, thereafter.
Operative time ranged from 185 to 420 minutes (mean, 313 minutes), with estimated blood loss ranging from 71 to 1830 mL (mean, 658 mL). Postoperative complications included atelectasis in one case. All patients had tumors successfully removed with no neurological deterioration. Spinal deformities were not observed in any patients at the last follow-up (mean, 52 months), with instrumentation.
Single-stage surgery with laminectomy and costotransversectomy may be useful for removing thoracic dumbbell tumors without a combined anterior approach.
Thoracic dumbbell tumor; single-stage surgery; posterior approach; posterior fusion; laminectomy; costotransversectomy
A modified hemilaminectomy was introduced in an attempt to explore the operative techniques and the values of the limited approach to spinal cord tumors. Forty-five consecutive patients with intradural extramedullary lesions, who underwent modified hemilaminectomy, were studied retrospectively. The intraspinal tumors were removed via the limited bone window with a 3.3-cm mean length (range: 2.0–6.5 cm) and a 1.2-cm mean width (range: 0.6–1.5 cm), in which the inner parts of the medial and lateral laminae were mostly undercut for wider view. Spinal lesions were cervical in 21 cases, thoracic in 12 cases, lumbar in 10 cases, and multiple in 2 cases. Forty-three cases were completely excised via hemilaminectomy alone. Two subjects with dumbbell neurinoma underwent two-stage tumor removal via anterolateral cervical approach following hemilaminectomy. With respect to neurological status, the percentage of good Frankel scale (D+E grade) was markedly improved from 22.2% on admission to 93.3% at follow-up. At the median 26-month follow-up evaluation by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), none of the subjects showed spinal deformity or instability. By preserving musculoligamentous attachments and posterior bony elements as much as possible, the modified approach is minimally invasive and may be routinely used to remove intradural and extramedullary tumors, especially in patients with meningiomas and neurinomas.
Hemilaminectomy; Spinal cord tumors; Microsurgery
Complete resection with conservation of cranial nerves is the primary goal of contemporary surgery for lower cranial nerve tumors. We describe the case of a patient with a schwannoma of the left glossopharyngeal nerve, operated on in our Neurosurgical Unit. The far lateral approach combined with laminectomy of the posterior arch of C1 was done in two steps. The procedure allowed total tumor resection and was found to be better than classic unilateral suboccipital or combined supra- and infratentorial approaches. The advantages and disadvantages of the far lateral transcondylar approach, compared to the other more common approaches, are discussed.
We present the case of a 38-year-old woman that presented with a very slowly enlarging mass of the tongue. MRI revealed a large mass originating in the tongue base and extending to the supraglottic space. Biopsy of this tumor confirmed the diagnosis of schwannoma. An endaural approach allowed complete resection of the tumor. Definitive histopathological examination showed a plexiform schwannoma. Schwannoma or neurilemoma represents a benign tumor potentially affecting any nerve. The head and neck region is a relatively common location for schwannomas, but tongue schwannomas are considered to be rare and pose the problem of both clinical and histological differential diagnosis of tongue masses.
Intrathoracic schwannomas are most frequently located in the posterior mediastinum. A Chinese woman presented with a benign pericardial schwannoma in the pretracheal space and aortopulmonary window, a location which has not been described previously in the literature.
A 50-year-old Chinese woman initially reported a cough associated with a small amount of sputum. Contrast-enhanced computed tomography (CT) subsequently revealed a 9 × 11 cm2 lobulated mass with sharp margins that presented as a capsule with heterogeneous enhancement and punctate calcification. Complete surgical resection was performed using a thoracotomy approach. The resected intrapericardial tumor was a firm, large mass with lobulation. Capsulation prevented infiltration of the mass into adjacent organs. Pathological examination verified that the tumor was a benign pericardial schwannoma.
This is the first reported case of a benign pericardial schwannoma located in the pretracheal space and aortopulmonary window. While a contrast-enhanced CT scan was able to differentiate this pericardial schwannoma from other middle mediastinal tumors, the exact diagnosis and plan for treatment depended on a pathological examination. For similar cases involving pericardial schwannomas, complete surgical resection is recommended, particularly for the prevention of life-threatening cardiopulmonary complications.
Pericardium; Benign schwannoma; Computed tomography
Schwannomas are rare and seldom extend into the anterior cranial fossa. Herein, we report a case of schwannoma arising from the olfactory groove in a 16-year-old girl who presented with generalized seizures without olfactory dysfunction or other neurologic deficits. Computerized tomography (CT) scan showed a large mass with abundant calcification located in the olfactory groove, which was confirmed as a schwannoma by histology and totally resected via basal subfrontal approach. The presentation, imaging findings and histogenesis of the tumor are discussed along with a review of the pertinent literature.
Olfactory groove; Subfrontal; Schwannoma; Olfactory dysfunction
Intramedullary schwannoma is often misdiagnosed as other types of malignant tumour prior to surgery due to its atypical imaging appearance and low incidence. In the present study, a case of small intramedullary schwannoma was analysed using clinical and imaging data. Data concerning the surgery and follow-up process of this case were collected. Instead of performing the traditional surgical procedure of cutting the central and posterior rhizotomies of the patient, minimally invasive hemilaminectomy was performed to maintain spinal stability. This procedure was selected since the small mass would be removed completely via minimally invasive hemilaminectomy. Intramedullary schwannoma was confirmed following surgery. The patient recovered well and no recurrence of the tumour was detected during the two-year follow-up period. In conclusion, the treatment strategy for intramedullary schwannoma was determined based on its atypical symptoms and imaging characteristics.
spinal cord; intramedullary schwannoma; treatment; follow-up
Hypoglossal schwannomas are rare skull base tumors. Furthermore, cystic hypoglossal schwannomas are extremely uncommon. We report the first case of a large cystic hypoglossal schwannoma with a fluid-fluid level. A 36-year-old woman presented with increased intracranial pressure and cerebellar signs without hypoglossal nerve palsy. Magnetic resonance imaging showed a predominantly cystic mass with a fluid-fluid level in the foramen magnum region extending into the hypoglossal canal. The intracranial tumor was largely removed via a midline suboccipital subtonsillar approach, leaving only a tiny residue in the hypoglossal canal. Histology confirmed a schwannoma with relative hypervascularity. Twenty months later, the tumor recurred and presented as a multicystic dumbbell-shaped lesion, extending intra- and extracranially through the enlarged hypoglossal canal. A complete resection of the intracranial and intracanalicular parts of the tumor was achieved with a small extracranial remnant treated by radiosurgery. Histology revealed a focal increased Ki67 proliferative index. In this report, we discuss the possible reasons for the absence of hypoglossal nerve palsy and the potential mechanism of the formation of the fluid-fluid level, and we consider the treatment of this lesion.
Hypoglossal schwannoma; cystic; fluid-fluid level; schwannoma
To report the treatment results of 12 patients who underwent a total excision of intradural extramedullary tumors.
Twelve cases of histopathologically confirmed intradural extramedullary tumors were treated surgically between February 2002 and March 2005. There were 8 males and 4 females with an average age of 42.6 years. The mean postoperative follow-up period was 24.2 months. The histopathological findings, locations of the tumors, and clinical results were analyzed. The neurological findings obtained during the preoperative stage and the postoperative follow-up were evaluated according to the Frankel classification.
The histopathological results are as follows: 4 cases of a meningioma, 4 cases of a schwannoma, 2 cases of an epidermoid cyst, 1 case of an arachnoid cyst, and 1 case of an ependymoma. The locations of the tumors were as follows: 7 cases in the thoracic region, 4 cases in the lumbar region, and 1 case in the cervical region. At the final follow-up, a 2-grade and 1-grade improvement was observed in 1 and 7 cases, respectively. There were no changes in the Frankel grade in 4 cases. The preoperative neurological deficit improved within 8 postoperative weeks in most cases and within 1 postoperative year in all cases. Postoperatively, there were 2 cases of cerebrospinal fluid leakage and 2 cases of paresthesia.
Intradural extramedullary tumors detected by MRI are mostly benign and good clinical results can be obtained when treated surgically. Therefore, more active surgical approaches by orthopedic surgeons are recommended to decrease morbidity.
Intradural; Extramedullary; Tumor
Intracranial hemorrhage is a serious but rare complication of spinal surgery, which can occur in the intracerebral, cerebellar, epidural, or subdural compartment.
To describe patients with intracranial hemorrhage after lumbar spinal surgery and present clinical and diagnostic imaging findings.
In this retrospective study, medical records of 1,077 patients who underwent lumbar spinal surgery in our tertiary referral neurosurgery center between January 2003 and September 2010 were studied. The original presentations of the patients before the surgical intervention were herniated lumbar disc, spinal canal stenosis, spondylolisthesis, lumbar spinal trauma, and lumbar spine and epidural tumor. The operations performed consisted of discectomy, multiple level laminectomy, stabilization and fusion, lumbar instrumentation, and lumbar spinal and epidural tumor resection.
Four cases developed intracranial hemorrhage including acute subdural hematoma (one case), epidural hematoma (one case), and remote cerebellar hemorrhage (two cases). The clinical and diagnostic imaging characteristics along with treatments performed and outcomes of these four patients are described and the pertinent literature regarding post-lumbar spinal surgery intracranial hemorrhages is reviewed.
Though rare, intracranial hemorrhage can occur following lumbar spinal surgery. This complication may be asymptomatic or manifest with intense headache at early stages any time during the first week after surgery. Dural tear, bloody CSF leakage, focal neurologic symptoms, and headache are indicators of potential intracranial hemorrhage, which should be considered during or following surgery and necessitate diagnostic imaging.
Intracranial hemorrhage; Lumbar spine surgery; Remote cerebellar hemorrhage; Subdural hematoma; Epidural hematoma
Ancient schwannomas are benign long standing schwannomas of the neural sheaths. Histological findings are these seen as in conventional schwannomas, but ancient schwannomas additionally demonstrate cystic hemorrhagic changes and degenerative nuclei with pleomorphism and hyperchromasia. Due to the nuclear atypia, and cystic degeneration, ancient schwannomas might be confused with malignant tumors on histology and imaging, leading to a radical surgical approach. The median nerve is rarely affected. We present a rare case of an ancient schwannoma involving the median nerve at the mid humerus. The tumor slowly grew up within ten years and become symptomatic with local pain, mild numbness in the distribution of the median nerve in the palm and Tinel’s test. The tumor was successfully removed by separating it from the nerve fascicles to negative margins. Post-operatively local symptoms relieved but minor sensory loss in the median nerve distribution in the palm was noticed which improved in the following six months. Ancient schwannomas can be misdiagnosed as sarcomas due to specific imaging and histologic findings. Patients’ physical examination, history and fine radiologic and pathology features should be cautiously interpreted in order to achieve correct diagnosis and avoid unnecessary wide tumor excisions.
Benign neural sheath tumors; Ancient schwannoma; Neurilimoma; Median nerve
We wanted to investigate the results of surgical treatment and analyze the factors that have an influence on the neurologic symptoms and prognosis of spinal intradural extramedullary (IDEM) tumors.
The spinal IDEM tumor patients (11 cases) who had been treated by surgical excision and who were followed up more than 1 year were retrospectively analyzed. Pain was evaluated by the visual analogue scale (VAS) and the neurologic function was assessed by Nurick's grade. The pathological diagnosis, the preoperative symptom duration, the tumor location on the sagittal and axial planes and the percentage of tumor occupying the intradural space were investigated. In addition, all these factors were analyzed in relation to the degree of the preoperative symptoms and the prognosis. On the last follow-up, the MRI was checked to evaluate whether or not the tumor had recurred.
The most common diagnosis was schwannomas (73%), followed by meningiomas (18%). The percentage of tumor occupying the intradural space was 82.9 ± 9.4%. The VAS score was reduced in all cases from 8.0 ± 1.2 to 1.2 ± 0.8 (p = 0.003) and the Nurick's grade was improved in all cases from 3.0 ± 1.3 to 1.0 ± 0.0 (p = 0.005). The preoperative symptoms were correlated with only the percentage of tumor occupying the intradural space (VAS; r2 = 0.75, p = 0.010, Nurick's grade; r2 = 0.69, p = 0.019). One case of schwannoma recurred.
The degree of neurologic symptoms was correlated with the percentage of tumor occupying the intradural space. All the tumors were able to be excised through the posterior approach. The postoperative neurologic recovery was excellent in all the cases regardless of any condition. Therefore, aggressive surgical excision is recommended even for cases with a long duration of symptoms or a severe neurologic deficit.
Intradural extramedullary tumor; Surgical treatment; Prognosis
In this paper authors present two cases of multiple schwannomas without the features of neurofibromatosis (NF). The authors retrospectively reviewed the hospital charts, radiology films, operative notes and pathology slides of these two patients. There was no family history of neurofibromatosis. The two patients had contrast enhanced MRI, which was negative for vestibular schwannomas. Both underwent surgical excision of symptomatic lesions. Histopathology confirmed these lesions as schwannomas. Molecular genetic analysis in case 1 demonstrated two distinct mutations of the NF2 gene in two different schwannomas, with concomitant loss of heterozygosity in both tumours. In contrast peripheral blood lymphocytes did not reveal mutations of NF2. The authors recommend surgery for symptomatic lesions. Asymptomatic tumours can be monitored. Regular follow up is essential as they may develop fresh lesions at any time. The relevant literature is discussed.
Schwannoma; Schwannomatosis; Neurofibromatosis type 1; Neurofibromatosis type 2