Prognostic factors in the treatment of intramedullary spinal cord tumors

Andrei Koerbel Claudio Esteves Tatsui Daniel Monte-Serrat Prevedello Ricardo Alexandre Hanel César Vinícius Grande Léo Fernando da Silva Ditzel João Cândido Araújo Affonso Antoniuk About the authors

Between 1993 and 1999, in the Divisions of Neurosurgery of the Hospital Nossa Senhora das Graças and the Hospital de Clínicas in Curitiba, Paraná, Brazil, 35 patients harboring intramedullary spinal cord tumors who were submitted to microsurgery were analyzed. There were 24 males (68.6%) and average age was 32.9 years. The main location, with 40% of cases, was the thoracic level, followed by cervical and cervico-thoracic levels with 25.7%. Neurological exam, carried out between 6 and 12 months after surgery, showed that 42.9% of patients improved, 34.3% were stable and 22.9% presented neurological worsening. Total resection was obtained in 57.2% of cases and subtotal in 37.1%. In 5.7% of patients a biopsy was the accomplished procedure. Total resection was more often obtained among patients with ependymomas (13 out of 17) than with astrocytomas (5 out of 12). However, degree of resection and tumor histology did not interfer in postoperative morbidity. Factors as sex, age and tumor's size also did not demonstrate significance in predicting prognostic after surgery, whereas tumor in a thoracic level was associated with higher morbidity (p=0.021).

intramedullary tumors; microsurgery; spinal cord; ependymoma; astrocytoma

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