Interesting case of subependymoma of the spinal cord

Spine J. 2014 May 1;14(5):e9-12. doi: 10.1016/j.spinee.2013.10.056. Epub 2013 Nov 20.


Background context: Subependymomas are rare, slow-growing, and usually noninvasive/nonaggressive World Health Organization Grade I tumors that tend to occur in the ventricles. Their most common site of occurrence is the fourth ventricle followed by the lateral ventricles. Spinal cord subependymomas typically manifest as cervical and cervicothoracic intramedullary or, rarely, extramedullary mass lesions. They often present clinically with pain and neurologic symptoms, including motor, sensory, urinary, and sexual dysfunction. Histologically, there are hypocellular areas with occasional clusters of cells and frequent microcystic changes, calcifications, and hemorrhage. Radiologically, subependymomas generally manifest as eccentric well circumscribed nodular lesions with mild-to-moderate enhancement.

Purpose: To highlight an interesting and rare presentation for subependymoma of the spinal cord.

Study design: This is a case report of a single patient in whom a subependymoma was resected from the cervical spinal cord with return to normal functioning.

Methods: Clinical examination, magetic resonance imaging evaluation, surgical resection, and histological analysis were performed for diagnosis and treatment of this patient.

Results: The patient experiencing myelopathy symptoms underwent a surgical resection of cervical spinal cord subependymoma that resulted in return to normal function.

Conclusions: Subependymoma should be included in the differential diagnosis of atypical presentations for myelopathy, as discrete surgical resection can result in good outcome.

Keywords: Cervical; Ependymoma; Glioma; Non-aggressive; Spinal cord; Subependymoma.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Glioma, Subependymal / diagnosis*
  • Humans
  • Leg
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Rare Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Spasm / diagnosis
  • Spinal Cord Neoplasms / diagnosis*