Metastases of the spinal cord from remote neoplasms. Study of five cases

Francesco Tognetti, Giuseppe Lanzino, Fabio Calbucci

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Scopus citations


Five patients with acute or subacute myelopathy are reported in whom neuroradiologic imaging or open surgery showed an intrinsic spinal cord tumor. Histologic diagnosis was obtained either through direct spinal cord biopsy or after biopsy or removal of a former or concurrent intracranial metastasis. Carcinoma of "possible" gas-trointestinal origin, oat-cell carcinoma, melanoma, and bronchogenic adenocarcinoma in two cases were demonstrated. The clinical course showed a devastating and irreversible deterioration of the neurological condition in all patients but one, who exhibited a mildly symptomatic disease. Our uncertainty with cases of intramedullary spinal cord metastasis resulted in a nonstandardized approach to these patients. The role of magnetic resonance imaging, the radiotherapeutic option, and the pertinent literature are briefly discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)220-227
Number of pages8
JournalSurgical Neurology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1988


  • Hematogenous dissemination
  • Intramedullary spinal cord metastasis
  • Magnetic resonance imaging
  • Radiotherapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology


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