Journal Article Tumor Occupation in the Spinal Canal and Clinical Symptoms of Cauda Equina Schwannoma: An Analysis of 22 Cases

Fujii, Kengo  ,  Sakane, Masataka  ,  Abe, Tetsuya  ,  Nakagawa, Tsukasa  ,  Sakai, Shinsuke  ,  Tatsumura, Masaki  ,  Funayama, Toru  ,  Yamazaki, Masashi

10 ( 6 )  , pp.1079 - 1084 , 2016-12 , Korean Society of Spine Surgery
Study DesignRetrospective, radiological study.PurposeTo determine the relationship between clinical symptoms and the extent of tumor occupation of the spinal canal by cauda equina schwannoma.Overview of LiteratureLittle is known about the relationship between the size of tumors of the cauda equina and the manifestation of clinical symptoms. We analyzed this relationship by estimating the percentage of tumor occupation (PTO) in the spinal canal in cauda equina schwannomas and by correlating this parameter with the presence and severity of clinical symptoms.MethodsTwenty-two patients (9 men and 13 women; age, 19–79 years; mean age, 55.3 years) who were radiologically diagnosed with schwannomas of the cauda equina between April 2004 and July 2014 were retrospectively analyzed. PTO was measured in axial and sagittal magnetic resonance imaging slices in which the cross-sectional area of the tumor was the largest. Data regarding clinical symptoms and results of physical examinations were collected from patient medical records. PTO differences between symptom-positive and -negative groups were analyzed for each variable.ResultsIn the 4 cases in which tumor presence was not related to clinical symptoms, PTO was 5%–10% (mean, 9%) in axial slices and 23%–31% (mean, 30%) in sagittal slices. In the 18 cases in which symptoms were associated with the tumor, PTO was 11%–86% (mean, 50%) in axial slices and 43%–88% (mean, 71%) in sagittal slices. PTO in axial slices was significantly higher in the presence of Déjèrine symptoms and/or muscle weakness, a positive straight leg raise test, and a positive Kemp sign.ConclusionsPTO >20% in axial slices and >40% in sagittal slices can be an indication of symptomatic cauda equina schwannoma.

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