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Eur Spine J. 2012 May;21(5):897-904. doi: 10.1007/s00586-011-2093-y. Epub 2011 Dec 3.

Malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumours of the spine: clinical manifestations, classification, treatment, and prognostic factors.

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  • 1Department of Orthopaedics, Peking University Third Hospital, No 49. North Garden Street, HaiDian District, Beijing 100191, People's Republic of China.



To summarise our experience treating patients with spinal malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumours (MPNSTs).


We retrospectively reviewed the records of patients diagnosed with spinal MPNSTs who received surgical treatment from January 1998 to December 2009.


Postoperative follow-up data were available for 14/16 patients with spinal MPNSTs (7 men, 7 women; median age = 44 years [range: 23-68 years]). Eight of 14 (57.1%) patients had primary and 6/14 (42.9%) recurrent MPNSTs. A total of 12/14 (85.7%) patients underwent total tumour resection, whereas 2/14 (14.3%) patients underwent subtotal tumour resection. Malignancies were graded low in 4 (28.6%) and high in 10 (71.1%) cases. A total of 12/14 (85.7%) patients experienced tumour recurrence and 10/14 (71.4%) patients died during the course of follow-up. The 0.5- 1-, 3-, and 5-year survival rates were 64.3, 48.2, 32.1, and 21.4%, respectively. Overall survival was significantly associated with tumour malignant degree (P = 0.012).


Diagnosis of spinal MPNSTs should be made with reference to clinical, radiological, and pathological findings. Surgical resection is the best available option for treating spinal MPNST; however, postoperative prognosis is poor.

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