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Surg Neurol Int. 2012;3:80. doi: 10.4103/2152-7806.98525. Epub 2012 Jul 14.

Intramedullary neurenteric cyst associated with a tethered spinal cord: Case report and literature review.

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Department of Neurosurgery, Illinois Neurological Institute, University of Illinois College of Medicine, Peoria, Illinois.



Neurenteric cysts are benign tumors of the central nervous system (CNS) that represent 0.3% to 0.5% of all spinal cord tumors. They are usually extramedullary and found in the lower cervical and thoracic spine. Only 12.2% of neurenteric cysts are documented to be intramedullary.


The authors report a case of a 35-year-old female that presented with progressive weakness and loss of coordination in her legs. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) showed an intramedullary cystic lesion in the thoracolumbar region and a low-lying conus medullaris suggesting tethered cord. The patient was taken to the operating room for detethering of her spinal cord and resection of the lesion. Pathologic examination of the tissue confirmed the diagnosis of a neurenteric cyst.


A search of the literature since the advent of MRI showed 29 published cases of intramedullary neurentic cysts. Of the 24 published cases with a follow-up MRI, the average recurrence rate was 25% with a mean follow up of 51 months.


Intramedullary; neurenteric cyst; tethered spinal cord

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