Imaging and clinical properties of inflammatory demyelinating pseudotumor in the spinal cord

Neural Regen Res. 2013 Sep 15;8(26):2484-94. doi: 10.3969/j.issn.1673-5374.2013.26.010.


Inflammatory demyelinating pseudotumor usually occurs in the brain and rarely occurs in the spinal cord. On imaging, inflammatory demyelinating pseudotumor appears very similar to intramedullary tumors such as gliomas. It is often misdiagnosed as intramedullary tumor and surgically resected. In view of this, the clinical and magnetic resonance imaging manifestations and the pathological fea-tures of 36 cases of inflammatory demyelinating pseudotumor in the spinal cord were retrospec-tively analyzed and summarized. Most of these cases suffered from acute or subacute onset and exhibited a sensorimotor disorder. Among them, six cases were misdiagnosed as having intra-dullary gliomas, and inflammatory demyelinating pseudotumor was only identified and pathologi-cally confirmed after surgical resection. Lesions in the cervical and thoracic spinal cord were com-mon. Magnetic resonance imaging revealed edema and space-occupying lesions to varying grees at the cervical-thoracic junction, with a predominant feature of non-closed rosette-like forcement (open-loop sign). Pathological examination showed perivascular cuffing of predominantly dense lymphocytes, and demyelination was observed in six of the misdiagnosed cases. These re-sults suggest that tumor-like inflammatory demyelinating disease in the spinal cord is a kind of special demyelinating disease that can be categorized as inflammatory pseudotumor. These solitary lesions are easily confused with intramedullary neoplasms. Patchy or non-closed reinforcement (open-ring sign) on magnetic resonance imaging is the predominant property of inflammatory myelinating pseudotumor, and inflammatory cell infiltration and demyelination are additional pa-logical properties.

Keywords: demyelinating disease; gliomas; image enhancement; inflammatory cell infiltration; magnetic resonance imaging; multiple sclerosis; neoplasms; neural regeneration; neuroregeneration; spinal cord; spinal cord injury.