Synovial sarcoma of the spine: A report of three cases and review of the literature

Ross Puffer, David Daniels, Caterina Giannini, Mark Pichelmann, Peter Rose, Michelle Clarke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Background : Synovial sarcoma (SS) is a rare sarcoma with distinct morphologic and genetic features, which, despite its name, does not arise from synovium. While most SSs (>80%) arise in the deep soft tissue of the extremities, up to 5% of these tumors are encountered in the body axis including the spine, mediastinum, retroperitoneum, and head/neck regions. Reports of SS located within the spinal axis have been rare to date. Materials and Methods : We searched the medical records at our institution and found three patients who were diagnosed and treated for SSs involving the spine. We also performed an exhaustive literature search using PubMed to identify all reported cases in the literature. Results : In this study, we report on three SS cases involving the spine. All three cases involved the paraspinal muscles and spinal nerve roots, with one case having a significant leptomeningeal involvement. In two cases, "smaller operations" were performed first because the lesions were thought to be benign, however, when the final pathology identified them as SSs, more radical procedures were performed. Additionally, we identified 14 cases of SSs involving the spine published in the literature and all cases are reviewed here. Conclusions : Due to limited numbers of cases, spine SS long-term outcomes are hard to quantify. The currently accepted standard of treatment for SSs starts with wide surgical excision with negative margins followed by chemotherapy and radiation. We summarize the available literature on spinal SSs and review the current treatment options available for these tumors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number18
JournalSurgical Neurology International
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2011


  • Case series review
  • Negative margins
  • Spinal synovial sarcoma
  • Treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology


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