Surgical treatment of cervical intramedullary spinal cord tumors

G. Maira, P. Amante, L. Denaro, A. Mangiola, C. Colosimo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The aim of this study is to determine if radical microsurgical removal of cervical intramedullary spinal cord tumors (CIMSCT) is achievable without causing respiratory, motor and sphincter deficits. Sixteen consecutive patients, who underwent surgical removal of a cervical intramedullary spinal cord tumor between 1988 and 1997, are presented. Surgical findings and results are analyzed. Patients' pre- and post-operative neurological conditions were evaluated using the clinical/functional scale of McCormick et al. The tumor was totally removed in 15 patients (93%). An improvement in sensory and motor functionality was obtained in 10 patients (63%), five patients (31%) remained stable and only one patient (6%), in whom partial removal was performed, presented a worsening of motor and sphincter functions. None of the patients who underwent total removal have shown MR signs of recurrence. The only patient in whom a partial removal was realized, presented a bulbar diffusion of the tumor and died. Microsurgical total removal can be considered the treatment of choice for CIMSCT. An accurate dissection between tumoral mass and normal spinal cord may allow, in the majority of cases, a total removal of tumor with preservation of spinal cord. Potential alterations of the spine stability must be prevented using internal or external stabilization.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)835-842
Number of pages8
JournalNeurological Research
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2001


  • Cervical spinal cord
  • Cervical spine
  • Intramedullary tumors
  • Surgical morbidity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neuroscience(all)


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