Kern H Guppy, Lewis Hou, Greg S Moes, Kamran Sahrakar
Surgical Neurology International 2011 2(1):119-119
Background: There have been 18 reported cases of primary spinal intradural, extramedullary ependymomas reported in the literature. One of the 18 cases had an extradural component and was benign. Our case is the second spinal intradural, extramedullary ependymoma with an extradural component and the first with its initial presentation as an anaplastic ependymoma. Case Description: A 50-year-old male presented with bilateral upper thigh weakness and thoracic numbness. His exam showed the pin-prick level at T5. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the thoracic spine showed an enhancing lesion at T5-6 with severe compression of the spinal cord with a dumbbell shape extension of the tumor through the right T5-6 neural foramen. The patient had a laminectomy at T4-T6 with the resection of the tumor. Postoperatively, the patient regained full strength in his lower extremities. Intraoperatively, the tumor was found to be intradural, extramedullary with an extradural component. The tumor was found to be an anaplastic ependymoma. Conclusions: Even though spinal intradural extramedullary ependymomas are very rare, surgeons must be aware that on MRI, they can be mistaken for meningiomas or nerve sheath tumors especially if there is an extradural component. Our case report is the first intradural, extramedullary ependymoma that is anaplastic and has an extradural component. A review of the literature provides little information on the treatment and prognosis for these tumors especially if they are anaplastic. We propose that the treatment, as done in our case, should be complete resection of the tumor with spinal radiotherapy to the tumor level.