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Neurosurgery. 2012 Jan;70(1):211-9; discussion 219. doi: 10.1227/NEU.0b013e31822d5f17.

Primary vertebral tumors: a review of epidemiologic, histological and imaging findings, part II: locally aggressive and malignant tumors.

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  • 1Department of Neurosurgery, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts 02115, USA.


This second part of a comprehensive review of primary vertebral tumors focuses on locally aggressive and malignant tumors. As discussed in the earlier part of the review, both benign and malignant types of these tumors affect the adult and the pediatric population, and an understanding of their subtleties may increase their effective resection. In this review, we discuss the epidemiologic, histological, and imaging features of the most common locally aggressive primary vertebral tumors (chordoma and giant-cell tumor) and malignant tumors (chondrosarcoma, Ewing sarcoma, multiple myeloma or plasmacytoma, and osteosarcoma). The figures used for illustration are from operative patients of the senior authors (Z.L.G. and J.H.C.). Taken together, parts 1 and 2 of this article provide a thorough and illustrative review of primary vertebral tumors.

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