Neoplastic Spinal Cord Disease

  • D. L. Balériaux


Spinal cord tumors are rare. Every radiologist should be able to recognize and readily identify those lesions often found in younger patients or children. Early diagnosis plays an important role in the management of the lesions and will interfere with the prognosis and final outcome of the patient. Clinical symptoms of cord tumors are usually of insidious onset: pain may be for long the only complaint while motor deficits often appear later. Before the advent of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), the diagnosis of a spinal cord tumor was often delayed. It is important, however, to diagnose those tumors at an early stage as new, efficient, surgical techniques including the use of Cavitron ultrasound aspiration (CUSA) may heal the patient or at least stop tumor evolution. Adequate management by using the proper diagnostic tools and careful analysis of the MR images help describe important features such as solid nodule, cystic components, associated hydrosyringomyelia and guide the surgeon. On the other hand, intramedullary lesions with mass effect may mimic spinal cord neoplasm: differential diagnosis is essential to avoid unnecessary surgery and to plan and guide adequate biopsy if required.


Spinal Cord Spinal Cord Tumor Intramedullary Spinal Cord Intramedullary Tumor Intramedullary Lesion 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Italia 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • D. L. Balériaux
    • 1
  1. 1.Neuroradiology Clinic, Department of Radiology, Erasme University HospitalFree University of BrusselsBrusselsBelgium

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