Surgical management of sacral schwannomas: a 21-year mayo clinic experience and comparative literature analysis

William Mualem, Abdul Karim Ghaith, Deja Rush, Ryan Jarrah, Yohan Alexander, Cameron Zamanian, John L.D. Atkinson, Michael J. Yaszemski, William E. Krauss, Robert J. Spinner, Mohamad Bydon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: Sacral and presacral schwannomas are rare, accounting for a minority of spinal schwannomas. We present our institution’s experience surgically treating spinal schwannomas and compare it to the literature. Methods: Data were collected for 27 patients treated surgically for sacral or presacral schwannoma between 1997 and 2018 at all Mayo Clinic locations and 93 patients in the literature. Kaplan–Meier disease-free survival analysis was conducted. Unpaired two-sample t tests and Fisher’s exact tests assessed statistical significance between groups. Results: Our patients and those in the literature experienced a similar age at diagnosis (49.9 y/o. vs 43.4 y/o., respectively). Most of our patients (59.3%) reported full recovery from symptoms, while a minority reported partial recovery (33.3%) and no recovery (11.1%). A smaller percentage in the literature experienced full recovery (31.9%) and partial recovery (29.8%) but also no recovery (1.1%). Our patients experienced fewer complications (14.8% versus 25.5%). Disease-free survival curves for all patients showed no significant variation in progression by extent of resection of schwannoma (log-rank P = 0.26). No lesion progression was associated with full or partial symptom improvement (p = 0.044), and female patients were more likely to undergo resection via a posterior approach (p = 0.042). Conclusion: Outcomes of patients with sacral or presacral schwannomas vary based on patient demographics, tumor characteristics, symptoms, and surgical treatment. Among the range of symptoms experienced by these patients, the most common is pain. Prognosis improves and overall survival is high when the surgical approach towards sacral schwannomas is prepared and executed appropriately.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-14
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of neuro-oncology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Aug 2022


  • Outcome
  • Presacral
  • Sacral
  • Schwannoma
  • Surgical management

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cancer Research


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