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Arq Neuropsiquiatr. 2013 Jan;71(1):40-5. Epub 2013 Jan 8.

Mortality is higher in patients with leptomeningeal metastasis in spinal cord tumors.

Author information

  • 1SARAH Network of Rehabilitation Hospitals, Brasília, DF, Brazil. ricardogepp@zipmail.com.br


Spinal cord tumors are a rare neoplasm of the central nervous system (CNS). The occurrence of metastases is related to poor prognosis. The authors analyzed one series of metastasis cases and their associated mortality.


Clinical characteristics were studied in six patients with intramedullary tumors with metastases in a series of 71 surgical cases.


Five patients had ependymomas of which two were WHO grade III. The patient with astrocytoma had a grade II histopathological classification. Two patients required shunts for hydrocephalus. The survival curve showed a higher mortality than the general group of patients with no metastases in the CNS (p<0.0001).


Mortality is elevated in patients with metastasis and greater than in patients with only primary lesions. The ependymomas, regardless of their degree of anaplasia, are more likely to cause metastasis than spinal cord astrocytomas.

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