Magnetic resonance evaluation of intra dural spinal tumors with histopathology correlation

Uma Maheswara Rao, Bujji Babu Perisetti, Swetha Reddy, Jyothi Lalitha


Background: Tumors of the spinal cord or canal constitute approximately 15% to 20% of central nervous system tumors. The differential diagnosis of spinal neoplasms is primarily based on location of the lesion relative to the spinal cord and the age, sex and clinical presentation. The aim and objective of the study was to determine the sensitivity of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in diagnosing intra spinal tumors and to correlate findings on MRI with histopathological diagnosis.

Methods: This is a retrospective study. The study group included all the patients who presented to our hospital with progressive sensory or motor deficits, para or quadriperesis with or without bladder/bowel Involvement. Only patients with Intra dural lesions such as intradural extra medullary and Intra medullary lesions were included in the study. All the extra dural lesion cases such as vertebral tumors, degenerative/osteoporotic compressions and Trauma related cord compressions were excluded from the study.

Results: Of the forty intradural tumors, 28 were extramedullary and 12 were intramedullary. Most of the tumors were located in the cervical and the dorsolumbar spine accounting for more than 50%. The most common tumor encountered in our study was schwannoma (22/40), followed by ependymoma (7/40), meningioma (4/40), astrocytoma (4/40), one each of Hemangioblastoma, Neuroentericcyst and Dermoid cyst. Ependymomas, Astrocytomas and hemangioblastoma were intramedullary lesions and the remaining lesions constituted Intra Dural extra medullary lesions.

Conclusions: MRI was found to be a highly sensitive imaging procedure and the method of choice for intradural tumor evaluation and to differentiate extra medullary from Intra medullary lesions. It is not sensitive enough to differentiate the Intra medullary tumors. Nevertheless, definite diagnosis could be made by histopathology only.



MRI, Spinal cord tumors, Intradural lesions, Cord tumor histology

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