Intramedullary Spinal Cord Tumours: Review Of Literature With Case Illustration
Intramedullary spinal cord tumours are uncommon and present in about 2 to 5 percent of spinal cord tumours. They arise from the spinal cord, leading to the invasion and destruction of grey and white matter. Astrocytomas and Ependymomas are the most common intramedullary tumours, followed by hemangioblastomas. Astrocytomas have a higher occurrence in children while ependymomas are more common in adults. These lesions remain a challenge for the patient and the neurosurgeon because of the high risk of neurologic deficits from the disease process and surgical intervention. Due to the rare occurrence and vague clinical presentation, these lesions are difficult to detect leading to delays in appropriate intervention. Surgical resection remains the mainstay of treatment with remarkable improvements in outcomes due to advances in diagnostic imaging, microsurgical techniques, and intraoperative neurophysiological neuromonitoring. We present a case of a 7-year-old patient with an intramedullary spinal cord tumour recently managed in our neurosurgical unit. The clinical presentation, diagnostic evaluation surgical management, and the postoperative course are detailed with the inherent challenges faced highlighted. A review of the current literature is further provided.
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