Pathophysiology and Treatment of Hydrocephalus Associated with Spinal Tumors

  • Alessia Imperato
  • Ursula Ferrara
  • Pietro Spennato
  • Maria Consiglio Buonocore
  • Lucia Quaglietta
  • Vittoria D’Onofrio
  • Enrico Leone
  • Helen Maroulis
  • Giuseppe CinalliEmail author
Living reference work entry


Spinal cord tumors are relatively rare in the pediatric population, comprising only 6–10% of all central nervous system tumors in this group. Hydrocephalus and intracranial hypertension, in the context of spinal cord tumors, is a rare but well-documented association. A detailed analysis of all the cases reported in the literature shows that there are probably several pathophysiological mechanisms at the origin of hydrocephalus associated with spinal tumors, with significant prognostic and therapeutic implications. Hydrocephalus associated with intramedullary lesions is more frequently associated with leptomeningeal seeding, both in low-grade and high-grade lesions, and tends to be permanent, whereas in case of extramedullary lesions, the pathophysiology is still not clear, but in this group, hydrocephalus tends to disappear following tumor removal and does not require CSF diversion procedures. Therapeutic implications suggest to avoid permanent shunting procedures in case of extramedullary lesions, whereas in case of intramedullary lesion, every effort should be done in order to rule out the existence of possible intracranial seeding.


Hydrocephalus Spinal tumor Intramedullary low-grade glioma Intramedullary high-grade glioma Extramedullary tumor Cauda equina tumor 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alessia Imperato
    • 1
  • Ursula Ferrara
    • 1
  • Pietro Spennato
    • 1
  • Maria Consiglio Buonocore
    • 2
  • Lucia Quaglietta
    • 3
  • Vittoria D’Onofrio
    • 4
  • Enrico Leone
  • Helen Maroulis
    • 5
  • Giuseppe Cinalli
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Pediatric NeurosurgerySantobono-Pausilipon Children’s HospitalNaplesItaly
  2. 2.Department of NeuroradiologySantobono-Pausilipon Children’s HospitalNaplesItaly
  3. 3.Department of OncologySantobono-Pausilipon Children’s HospitalNaplesItaly
  4. 4.Department of PathologySantobono-Pausilipon Children’s HospitalNaplesItaly
  5. 5.Department of NeurosurgeryEpworth HospitalRichmondAustralia

Section editors and affiliations

  • Christian Sainte-Rose
    • 1
  • M. Memet Özek
    • 2
  • Giuseppe Cinalli
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Pediatric NeurosurgeryNecker Enfants-MaladesParisFrance
  2. 2.Department of Neurosurgery, Division of Pediatric NeurosurgeryAcıbadem UniversityIstanbulTurkey
  3. 3.Division of Pediatric Neurosurgery and Department of NeurosciencesSantobono-Pausilipon Children’s HospitalNaplesItaly

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