Spinal cord vascular injuries following surgery of advanced thoracic neuroblastoma: an unusual catastrophic complication

Med Pediatr Oncol. 1999 May;32(5):349-52. doi: 10.1002/(sici)1096-911x(199905)32:5<349::aid-mpo7>3.0.co;2-p.


Background: Spinal cord injury is a possible complication associated with removal of thoracic dumbbell neuroblastomas. Our experience with two children whose postsurgical course was complicated by midthoracic spinal cord ischemia is reported there. Permanent paraplegia resulted in both.

Procedure and results: Preoperative awareness of the origin and distribution of the Adamkiewicz artery (arteria radiculomedullaris magna, ARMM) and of the possible collateral pathways for spinal cord blood supply may be helpful in the planning of operations that involve dissection in the midthoracic posterior mediastinum. Otherwise, a flaccid paraplegia may result.

Conclusions: The syndrome is presumed to be triggered by a spasm, an embolism, or a iatrogenic interruption of the ARMM.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Ischemia / etiology*
  • Male
  • Neuroblastoma / pathology
  • Neuroblastoma / surgery*
  • Paraplegia / etiology*
  • Postoperative Complications
  • Spinal Cord / blood supply*
  • Surgical Procedures, Operative / adverse effects
  • Thoracic Neoplasms / pathology
  • Thoracic Neoplasms / surgery*