Surgical and Radiologic Prognostic Factors in Intramedullary Spinal Cord Lesions

World Neurosurg. 2021 Jun;150:e550-e560. doi: 10.1016/j.wneu.2021.03.061. Epub 2021 Mar 19.


Objective: The present study aimed to perform a comprehensive data analysis of 47 consecutive patients treated in 8 years and to observe how clinical, radiologic, and surgical factors affect early and long-term outcomes, recurrence rate, and survival.

Methods: Clinical, radiologic, and surgical data were collected retrospectively from the review of a prospectively collected database. The neurologic disability was evaluated according to the modified Rankin Scale (mRS). Radiologic data were obtained by direct measurement performed on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Univariate and multivariate statistical analysis was performed.

Results: From 2008 to 2016, 47 consecutive patients underwent microsurgical resection of intramedullary lesions (28 males and 19 females; mean age, 41.2 years). Ependymoma (53.2%), astrocytoma (14.9%), hemangioblastoma (14.9%), and cavernous angioma (6.4%) were the most frequent tumor histology. The mean follow-up duration was 69.3 months. Gross total tumor resection was performed in 80.8% of cases. Forty-two patients (89.4%) were alive at last follow-up. Five-year overall survival and recurrence-free survival were 92% and 82%, respectively.

Conclusions: Among the examined variables, age seemed to strongly correlate with outcomes; better chances of recovery and a good postoperative outcome were observed in younger patients. Surfacing lesions had a better early functional outcome than did intramedullary located lesions. Patients' preoperative neurologic and functional status (mRS score ≤2) had a significant impact on late neurologic outcome. Progression-free survival correlated with the extent of tumor resection. Surgery should probably be performed before patients' neurologic decline, aiming to achieve maximal resection without compromising patients' quality of life.

Keywords: IMSCT; Intramedullary lesions; Quality of life; Spinal cord tumors.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neurosurgical Procedures / adverse effects
  • Neurosurgical Procedures / methods*
  • Neurosurgical Procedures / mortality
  • Postoperative Complications / epidemiology
  • Postoperative Complications / etiology
  • Prognosis
  • Progression-Free Survival
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Spinal Cord Neoplasms / mortality
  • Spinal Cord Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Spinal Cord Neoplasms / surgery*
  • Treatment Outcome*
  • Young Adult