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Neurosurgery. 2011 Dec;69(6):E1327-32. doi: 10.1227/NEU.0b013e31822a994d.

Multicentric chordoma: a case report and review of the literature.

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  • 1Department of Neurosurgery, Hennepin County Medical Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA.



Chordomas are relatively rare tumors that arise from the neuraxis. Most often, chordomas are single lesions that metastasize late. There have been very few cases of chordomas arising from multiple foci along the neuraxis. Here, we present a case of a multicentric chordoma.


The patient presented with pain in her right neck and soreness in her right shoulder that she had experienced for about 2.5 years that she attributed to a muscle strain. She experienced worsening of her symptoms, which prompted her to seek medical care. The patient underwent an occiput-to-C6 posterolateral fusion with autograft and an occiput-to-C6 posterior segmental instrumentation, along with decompression of the spinal cord. One month after the initial surgery, the patient underwent a second surgery. The C2 and C3 vertebral bodies were completely resected, and a C1-C4 anterior fusion was then carried out. A C5 vertebrectomy and C4-C6 fusion were also performed at this time. The patient then received proton beam radiation to the entire affected area.


Recent studies have suggested that chordomas arise from benign notochordal tumors. We suggest that our patient suffered from multicentric chordomas with possible benign notochordal tumors. Although benign notochordal tumors do not require surgical resection, the possibility of transformation to a malignant lesion requires close follow-up.

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