Background: Neuroenteric cysts are rare developmental anomalies of the central nervous system that account for approximately 0.7%-1.3% of all spinal cord lesions. The majority of spinal neuroenteric cysts are located ventral to the spinal cord. Dorsally located neuroenteric cysts are rare and are almost always associated with other spinal anomalies. Isolated dorsal spinal neuroenteric cysts, without other associated spinal anomalies, are extremely rare. These lesions can be mistaken for the more commonly encountered spinal cysts (e.g., arachnoid cysts, ependymal cysts, cystic teratomas).
Case description: We present the first pediatric case of a 9-month-old boy with an isolated dorsal thoracic neuroenteric cyst and cord compression that underwent surgical resection. The patient tolerated the procedure well and remained neurologically stable after surgery. Pathology was consistent with a neuroenteric cyst. Complete resection was not achieved at the time of surgery. In retrospect, knowing the lesion is a neuroenteric cyst, a more aggressive approach aiming for a complete surgical resection should have been undertaken. To our knowledge, only 2 adult cases of isolated dorsal spinal neuroenteric cysts have been reported in the literature.
Conclusions: Neuroenteric cysts can occur dorsal to the spinal cord without any associated spinal anomalies. The gold standard treatment for neuroenteric cysts is surgical resection, and the goal of surgery is complete resection.
Keywords: Enterogenous cyst; Intestinoma; Spinal anomalies; Spinal cyst; Spinal neuroenteric cyst.
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