The authors report a case of a 3-month-old male child with paraplegia in whom magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) revealed a nonenhancing intramedullary cystic lesion extending from the level of D1 to D7 without any other associated anomaly. Intraoperatively, these findings were confirmed and the spinal cord was found to have splayed circumferentially into a papery thin rim. The patient underwent marsupialization of the cyst with subtotal excision of the cyst wall. Histopathological examination revealed ciliated pseudostratified columnar epithelium consistent with the diagnosis of a neurenteric cyst. Intramedullary neurenteric cysts are rare developmental malformations, and out of the 13 previously reported cases, only 3 were evaluated by MRI. This is the first case report in the literature of an intramedullary neurenteric cyst presenting as infantile paraplegia. In the present report, the embryology, etiopathogenesis, radiological imaging and management of this rare clinical entity are discussed and a detailed literature review is presented.
Copyright 2002 S. Karger AG, Basel