Current Neurology and Neuroscience Reports

, Volume 11, Issue 3, pp 320–328 | Cite as

Adult Primary Intradural Spinal Cord Tumors: A Review

  • Marc C. ChamberlainEmail author
  • Trent L. Tredway


Primary spinal cord tumors constitute 2% to 4% of all central nervous system neoplasms and are characterized based on their location as intramedullary, intradural extramedullary, and extradural. A contemporary literature review of primary intradural spinal cord tumors was performed. Among intramedullary tumors, ependymomas are more common and often can be surgically resected. However, astrocytomas infiltrate the spinal cord and complete resection is rare. Intradural extramedullary tumors include schwannomas, neurofibromas, and meningiomas and are usually amenable to surgical resection. Radiotherapy is reserved for malignant variants and recurrent gliomas, whereas chemotherapy is administered for recurrent primary spinal cord tumors without surgical or radiotherapy options. Early recognition of the signs and symptoms related to primary spinal cord tumors facilitates timely discovery, treatment, potentially minimizes neurologic morbidity, and may improve outcome. Treatment consists of surgical resection, and predictors of outcome include preoperative functional status, histologic grade of tumor, and extent of surgical resection.


Primary spinal cord tumors Intradural intramedullary Intradural extramedullary Extradural tumors Gliomas Low-grade glioma High-grade glioma Glioblastoma Ependymoma Hemangioblastoma Spinal cord parenchymal metastasis Meningioma Peripheral nerve sheath tumor Neurofibroma Schwannoma Extradural metastasis Resective surgery Biopsy Radiotherapy Chemotherapy Alkylator-based chemotherapy Temozolomide Platinoids Etoposide Bevacizumab 



No potential conflicts of interest relevant to this article were reported.


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Neurology/Division of Neuro-OncologyFred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle Cancer Care AllianceUniversity of WashingtonSeattleUSA
  2. 2.Department of Neurological SurgeryUniversity of WashingtonSeattleUSA

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