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Intramedullary spinal cord tumour 

Intramedullary spinal cord tumour
Intramedullary spinal cord tumour

Ruth-Mary deSouza

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date: 19 April 2021

Intramedullary spinal cord tumours (IMSCT) are rare, constituting about 2-4% of CNS tumours. In adults they represent about a fifth of spinal malignancies and a higher proportion in children, approaching 40%. The main body of evidence for surgery in IMSCTs comes from retrospective series. The lack of level 1 and 2 evidence available with regard to IMSCTs and the high risk nature of surgery makes this a challenging area of neurosurgery, and this chapter covers the challenges and controversies. The most common type of IMSCT in adults is ependymoma (about 70%), followed by astrocytoma (about 20%). In children astrocytoma is the most common tumour type (70%) with low grade being more common than high grade astrocytoma. Other IMSCTs include haemangioblastoma, cavernoma, oligodendroglioma and glioblastoma. Intramedullary metastases are extremely rare, have a poor prognosis and are typically managed with palliative radiotherapy.

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