Thoracic intramedullary sarcoidosis mimicking an intramedullary tumor

Coll Antropol. 2008 Jun;32(2):645-7.


Sarcoidosis is a chronic, systemic granulomatous reticulosis of unknown origin, characterized by formation of hard tubercles and noncaseatinggranulomas. Since other infectious diseases such as berylliosis, mycobacterium and fungal infections may present with a noncaseating granulomas, histological diagnosis of sarcoidosis is made using the elimination method. Central nervous system manifestations of sarcoidosis may be present in 5-10% of the cases involving cranial nerves, leptomeninges and third ventricle respectively. Any part of the central nervous system can be affected. Involvement of spinal cord in sarcoidosis is extremely rare and presents with only 0.3-0.4% in patients with systemic sarcoidosis. Intramedullary sarcoidosis is a rare first manifestation of the disease and it can mimic an intramedullary tumor, which is often manifested with symptoms that initiate from spinal cord compression, resulting in paraparesis, sensory disorders and sphincter dysfunction. We present a case of intramedullary sarcoidosis that mimics a tumor of the thoracic spinal cord. Clinical features, neuroradiological, pathohistological findings, laboratory analysis and surgical treatment of such a rare entity are being discussed.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Sarcoidosis / diagnosis*
  • Spinal Cord Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Spinal Cord Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Thoracic Vertebrae