Microsurgical management of spinal schwannomas: Evaluation of 128 cases
Division of Neurological Surgery, Barrow Neurological Institute, St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center, Phoenix, Arizona, USA. Journal of Neurosurgery Spine
(Impact Factor: 2.38).
08/2008; 9(1):40-7. DOI: 10.3171/SPI/2008/9/7/040
The authors conducted a study to evaluate the clinical characteristics and surgical outcomes in patients with spinal schwannomas and without neurofibromatosis (NF).
The data obtained in 128 patients who underwent resection of spinal schwannomas were analyzed. All cases with neurofibromas and those with a known diagnosis of NF Type 1 or 2 were excluded. Karnofsky Performance Scale (KPS) scores were used to compare patient outcomes when examining the anatomical location and spinal level of the tumor. The neurological outcome was further assessed using the Medical Research Council (MRC) muscle testing scale.
Altogether, 131 schwannomas were treated in 128 patients (76 males and 52 females; mean age 47.7 years). The peak prevalence is seen between the 3rd and 6th decades. Pain was the most common presenting symptom. Gross-total resection was achieved in 127 (97.0%) of the 131 lesions. The nerve root had to be sacrificed in 34 cases and resulted in minor sensory deficits in 16 patients (12.5%) and slight motor weakness (MRC Grade 3/5) in 3 (2.3%). The KPS scores and MRC grades were significantly higher at the time of last follow-up in all patient groups (p = 0.001 and p = 0.005, respectively).
Spinal schwannomas may occur at any level of the spinal axis and are most commonly intradural. The most frequent clinical presentation is pain. Most spinal schwannomas in non-NF cases can be resected totally without or with minor postoperative deficits. Preoperative autonomic dysfunction does not improve significantly after surgical management.
Available from: Suat Canbay
- "Spinal schwannoma constitutes approximately 25% of the intradural spinal tumors [1-12]. Most of them are benign and present high histological cellularity, and are shaped like solid masses forming up of Antoni A and Antoni B type cells [2-8]. Multiple forms are generally seen in the case of neurofibromatosis [3,4]. "
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ABSTRACT: Retrospective case series.
The objectives of this study were to determine and discuss the surgical planning of patients who underwent operations following diagnoses of thoracal and lumbar spinal schwannomas. We also aimed to discuss the application of unilateral hemilaminectomy for the microsurgery of schwannomas.
Schwannomas are located in different regions and sites. These differences require several surgical approaches. Unilateral laminectomy without stabilization of the spine provides a more minimally invasive removal of the tumor.
In this retrospective study, 15 patients with spinal schwannomas were evaluated with regards to age, sex, onset history, neurological findings, tumor locations, McCormick scale, surgical procedure, and operational results. The lateral approach provides exposure of intradural structures and posterior paraspinal regions. Extensions of tumors cause problem for the surgeon in terms of approach, resectability of the tumor, and stability of the spine. Gross total resection was achieved in all cases, and none of the patients necessary required a fusion procedure.
Five patients were males and 10 were females. The age interval was 29-65 years. The tumor was located in the lumbar region in 9 patients, in the thoracic region in 2 patients, and in the thoracolumbar junction in 4 patients. The intradural lesions were removed by laminectomy and the extradural lesions were resected with hemilaminectomy. The paramedian route was used to explore the extraspinal part of the tumor. Costotransversectomy was for the thoracic region. Subtotal resection was performed in 1 patient. Patient symptoms recovered gradually in the postoperative period.
Resection of giant schwannomas is challenging and usually requires a different approach. We describe the complete resection of complex dumbbell or paraspinal schwannomas of the thoracic and lumbar spine by unilateral hemilaminectomy.
Available from: Maarten H Coppes
- "Chiou et al.  reported four cases of CSF leakage in 256 patients (2%) operated for intradural tumors. More recently, Safavi-Abbasi et al.  reported eight cases of CSF leakage (6%) and six (5%) pseudomeningocele formations in 128 patients operated for spinal Schwannoma. However, true incidences may be higher, because many cases may remain asymptomatic. "
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ABSTRACT: Incidental or intentional durotomy causing cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) leakage, leading to the formation of a pseudomeningocele is a known complication in spinal surgery. Herniation of nerve roots into such a pseudomeningocele is very rare, but can occur up to years after initial durotomy and has been described to cause permanent neurologic deficit. However, cauda equina fiber herniation and entrapment into a pseudomeningocele has not been reported before. Here, we present a case of symptomatic transdural cauda equina herniation and incarceration into a pseudomeningocele, 3 months after extirpation of a lumbar Schwannoma. A 59-year-old man, who previously underwent intradural Schwannoma extirpation presented 3 months after surgery with back pain, sciatica and loss of bladder filling sensation caused by cauda equina fiber entrapment into a defect in the wall of a pseudomeningocele, diagnosed with magnetic resonance imaging. On re-operation, the pseudomeningocele was resected and the herniated and entrapped cauda fibers were released and replaced intradurally. The dura defect was closed and the patient recovered completely. In conclusion, CSF leakage can cause neurological deficit up to years after durotomy by transdural nerve root herniation and subsequent entrapment. Clinicians should be aware of the possibility of this potentially devastating complication. The present case also underlines the importance of meticulous dura closure in spinal surgery.
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