Surgical Outcome of Intramedullary Spinal Cord Ependymoma
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Surgical outcome of intramedullary spinal cord ependymoma was investigated in order to define the treatment strategy. We have operated on 18 cases of intramedullary spinal cord ependymoma based on the principle of radical resection. The follow-up periods ranged from 10 months to 249 months with an average of 86.2 months. Postoperative neurological status in the long follow-up periods was compared to the pre-operative status and was correlated with the histological grade of malignancy. Total removal of the tumour was achieved in 17 cases, and subtotal removal followed by radiation therapy was conducted in 1 case. There was neither surgical mortality nor radiological evidence of recurrence in the long-term follow-up periods. The final outcome of the neurological condition was improved in 1 case, unchanged in 15 cases (including a case of subtotal removal) and deteriorated in 2 cases. The deterioration was in the form of gait disturbance due to the worsening of proprioception in 2 cases and dysaethesia in 1 case. Histological examination showed no evidence of anaplasia in 6 cases, evidence of early anaplasia in 10 cases, and moderate evidence of anaplasia in 2 cases. No relationship between the histological malignancy and clinical course was found. Intramedullary spinal cord ependymoma should be removed radically as early as possible while taking great care to avoid posterior column injury. Histologically malignant ependymoma might be a clinical exception.
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