Rupture of spinal dermoid tumors with spread of fatty droplets in the cerebrospinal fluid pathways

Abstract

Cranial and spinal MRI was carried out at 0.5 or 1.5 T in five patients with spinal dermoid tumours. Free fatty material was appreciated within the normally communicating cerebrospinal fluid pathways in all five cases and in one case fat droplets were also observed within a dilated central canal of the spinal cord. While dissemination of lipid within the subarachnoid space and ventricles is easily understandable, the presence of lipid droplets within the central canal is more difficult to explain, since the central canal is only potential in the adult. When a dermoid tumor is suspected, we recommend MRI of the entire central nervous system, to detect possible leakage of fat from rupture of a cystic portion of the tumour.

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Received: 1 November 1998 Accepted: 20 October 1999

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Calabrò, F., Capellini, C. & Jinkins, J. Rupture of spinal dermoid tumors with spread of fatty droplets in the cerebrospinal fluid pathways. Neuroradiology 42, 572–579 (2000). https://doi.org/10.1007/s002340000345

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  • Key words Dermoid tumor
  • spinal
  • Syringomyelia
  • Fat
  • free
  • Meningitis
  • Magnetic resonance imaging