, Volume 50, Issue 3, pp 239-243

A Case of Spinal Glioblastoma Multiforme: Immunohistochemical Study and Review of the Literature

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A 31-year old female underwent subtotal resection of a spinal glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) at level D 10/11 in June 1997. Immunohistochemistry revealed increased MIB-1 labeling index and accumulation of p53 protein. Routine MRI in February 1998 showed multiple tumors of the lumbar spinal cord. At open biopsy, diffuse infiltration of multiple radices was seen. Histologically and immunohistochemically, the tumor was similar to the primary. In May 1998, MRI revealed multiple intracranial metastases and meningeal involvement. The patient died in June 1998, 13 months after the onset of symptoms.

The lifes of patients with spinal gliomas are not endangered by direct compression of the brain stem, and systemic metastases are extremely uncommon with gliomas. Yet, survival times in the reported case and in the literature are not better than with cerebral localization. Analysis of the present case and a survey of the literature indicate that CSF involvement and consecutive intracranial seeding determine the prognosis of patients with spinal GBM. Thus, regular monitoring of CSF-cytology and/or spinal MRI appear to be advisable in spinal GBM.