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Saturday, 27.05.2017, 03:44
Main » Neurosurgery » Tumors of the spinal cord - Diagnosis, Treatment 
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Tumors of the spinal cord - Diagnosis, Treatment


Tumors of the spinal cord - Diagnosis, Treatment

Anatomy of spinal cord

The spinal cord - a body. Along with the brain related to the central nervous system. He seems to be a continuation of the brain. The spinal cord is located in the spinal canal, which is formed by the bodies and the vertebral arch. However, the spinal cord fills the entire spinal canal is not, and he goes up to 2 - 3 lumbar vertebra. Further, as an extension of the brain is the so-called cerebrospinal thread.

Outside the spinal cord is covered, as well as the head, shell: soft and hard. Between these membranes is the cerebrospinal fluid - it's the same liquor.

As the brain. Dorsal also consists of gray and white matter. However, unlike the brain, spinal cord gray matter inside the white.

For the convenience of the spinal cord is divided into segments (as a fraction of the parent and the gyrus), but they are indistinguishable to the eye.

The spinal cord has two main functions: reflex and explorer. The reflex function of the spinal cord provides the motion. Pass through the spinal cord reflex arc, which involves a contraction of the muscles of the body (except for the muscles of the head). An example of a simple motor reflex - knee-jerk reaction. The spinal cord with the brain regulates the internal organs: heart, stomach, bladder and sexual organs.

The white matter of the spinal cord connects and coordinated work of all departments of the central nervous system, performing a function explorer. Nerve impulses coming from the spinal cord receptors, transmitted via ascending pathways to the brain. From the brain impulses of a descending pathways coming to the underlying spinal cord and from there - to the authorities.

Tumors of the spinal cord


As in the case with brain tumors, spinal cord tumors is important to not look or structure of the tumor and its location and the compression on certain segments of the brain, it exerts.
The classification of tumors of the spinal cord

According to its location and origin of spinal cord tumors are divided into:

Extradural spinal cord tumors - they are the most malignant. They grow quickly, destroying the spinal column. Moreover, these tumors grow either from the vertebral body, or from the tissues of the dura mater. These tumors account for 55% of all spinal tumors.

They are:
  • Metastatic (cancer of the lung, breast, prostate).
  • Primary tumors of the spine (very rare).
  • Chloroma: the focal infiltration of leukemic cells.
  • Angiolipoma.

Intradural - extramedullary spinal tumors. They are under the dura mater (40%). Most often these neurofibromas, and meningiomas.


Intramedullary spinal cord tumors - they are in the matter of the spinal cord (make up about 5% of all spinal tumors). The most common (95%) - a tumor of the glial tissue (gliomas). They are:
  • Astrocytomas
  • Ependymomas


Clinical signs of spinal cord tumors are extremely different. Since most of them are benign and grow slowly, the early symptoms tend to vary, and can progress almost unnoticed for 2-3 years before the diagnosis.

Pain is the most common symptom of intramedullary spinal cord tumors in adults and 60-70% of patients with pain is the first sign of disease. Sensory or motor disorders are the first symptoms in the third case.

Diagnosis of spinal cord tumors

Neurological examination - it is the examination of the patient, checking reflexes - all probably well aware, it is tapping a hammer, examination of the eyes, their motion, shape, and reaction of pupils, carrying out some tests on the stability of the patient in a standing position - the so-called Romberg's test and other methods .

Radiography of the spine. The method allows to detect vertebral fracture, changes and shifts in their structure. For the diagnosis of tumors of the spinal cord is also applied this method of radiography, myelography as the - method, which is administered in the subarachnoid space of the spinal cord of contrast medium (eg air) and carrying out radiography.

Computed tomography, magnetic resonance imaging - today is one of the most modern methods of diagnosis. The method of computed tomography X-rays is layered. With the help of a special apparatus, a series of snapshots, which is further processed by a computer.

Treatment of spinal cord tumors


Treatment. The only effective treatment for spinal tumors is surgical. Surgery to be benign tumors. Conservative treatment - steady state, restorative and pain relievers - in some cases may reduce the pain and even cause some improvement in function, but these remissions are incomplete and of short duration, and thereafter continues to worsen symptoms.

Surgical treatment of benign tumors yields favorable results in most patients recovering ability to work. Prediction of surgical intervention is largely determined by the timely and correct diagnosis.

In malignant tumors also attempted radical tumor resection followed by radiotherapy. X-ray therapy may delay tumor growth and cause a decrease in number of neurologic symptoms. The indications for its use as a pain not amenable to medical treatment.



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