Clinical features of multiple spinal schwannomas without vestibular schwannomas

J Orthop Sci. 2022 May;27(3):563-568. doi: 10.1016/j.jos.2021.02.014. Epub 2021 Apr 23.


Background: Multiple spinal cord tumors in a single patient are very rare and most often seen in cases of neurofibromatosis and associated disorders. Schwannomatosis, which is characterized by the development of multiple schwannomas without vestibular schwannomas, has been newly defined as a distinct form of neurofibromatosis. The purpose of the present study was to describe and review the clinical and radiological features and the management of patients with multiple spinal schwannomas without vestibular schwannomas.

Methods: Between 1986 and 2016, 19 patients with multiple spinal schwannomas without vestibular schwannoma were diagnosed and treated. Of the 19 patients, 13 were males, and 6 were females. The mean age at the first surgery for spinal schwannoma was 45.2 years old. The mean follow-up period was 123.4 months. The clinical features and radiological findings of the patients with multiple spinal schwannomas were retrospectively reviewed.

Results: Among the 19 patients, there were more than 140 spinal schwannomas. The most common area of spinal schwannoma was the thoracolumbar-lumbar region. Initial symptoms and chief complaints caused by spinal schwannomas were primarily pain in the trunk or extremities in 17 (89.5%) of 19 patients. More than 60 spinal schwannomas were surgically resected. Multiple spinal surgeries were required in six patients. In all 19 patients, surgical treatment has provided successful relief of symptoms and neurological recovery.

Conclusions: Surgical treatment was safe and effective in patients with multiple spinal schwannomas without vestibular schwannomas. After surgery, we recommend that all patients be followed with magnetic resonance imaging to monitor for asymptomatic tumors or detect new tumors early.

MeSH terms

  • Female
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neurilemmoma* / diagnostic imaging
  • Neurilemmoma* / surgery
  • Neurofibromatoses* / diagnosis
  • Neurofibromatoses* / pathology
  • Neurofibromatoses* / surgery
  • Neuroma, Acoustic* / diagnostic imaging
  • Neuroma, Acoustic* / surgery
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Spinal Cord Neoplasms* / surgery