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Intramedullary Spinal Cord Tumor

Last Updated: October 1, 2018

Resection of a Large Cervical Spinal Cord Ependymoma

Tumor Subtypes

Intramedullary spinal cord tumors are rare and challenging entities, comprising 16% to 58% of all primary spinal cord and 2% to 8.5% of all primary central nervous system tumors in the adult and pediatric populations.

Analogous to their extramedullary counterparts, three major histologic subtypes predominate. Together, ependymomas (30-40%), astrocytomas (30-35%) and hemangioblastomas (2-15%) correspond to more than 90% of all intramedullary spinal cord tumors. Other tumors such as gliomas, cavernomas, hamartomas, metastases, and lipomas are rarely encountered.

Several genetic factors have been associated with intramedullary spinal cord tumors. Neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1), neurofibromatosis type 2 (NF2), and von Hi...