Malignant rhabdoid tumor of the spine in an infant: case report and review of the literature

Pediatr Neurosurg. 2009;45(3):237-43. doi: 10.1159/000224622. Epub 2009 Jun 15.


Malignant rhabdoid tumors of the spine are rare pediatric neoplasms that have a poor prognosis. The histological, ultrastructural, and immunohistochemical features are essential elements used in their diagnosis. We report the case of a malignant rhabdoid tumor of the cervical spine in a 13-month-old infant. Tumor cells were vimentin positive with prominent nucleoli indented by eosinophilic cytoplasmic inclusions containing intermediate filaments. INI1 immunostaining was negative. This patient was operated on twice for symptomatic spinal cord compression. Despite chemotherapy, she developed worsening leptomeningeal dissemination, lower cranial nerve dysfunction, and hydrocephalus that did not respond to CSF diversion. She died 4 months after initial diagnosis. We review the literature on spinal malignant rhabdoid tumor and discuss the nomenclature, pathology, radiology, treatment, and outcomes of this rare entity.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Biopsy
  • Cervical Vertebrae
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging*
  • Rhabdoid Tumor / pathology*
  • Rhabdoid Tumor / surgery
  • Spinal Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Spinal Neoplasms / surgery