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Handb Clin Neurol. 2018;149:239-255. doi: 10.1016/B978-0-12-811161-1.00016-5.

Management - spinal metastases.

Author information

1
Division of Neurosurgery, Department of Surgery, Toronto Western Hospital, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada.
2
Department of Radiation Oncology, Sunnybrook Odette Health Sciences Centre, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada.
3
Division of Neurosurgery, Department of Surgery, Toronto Western Hospital, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada. Electronic address: Michael.Fehlings@uhn.ca.

Abstract

Due to a worldwide increase of cancer incidence and a longer life expectancy of patients with metastatic cancer, a rise in the incidence of symptomatic vertebral metastases has been observed. Metastatic spinal disease is one of the most dreaded complications of cancer as it is not only associated with severe pain, but also with paralysis, sensory loss, sexual dysfunction, urinary and fecal incontinency when the neurologic elements are compressed. Rapid diagnosis and treatment have been shown to improve both the quality and length of remaining life. This chapter on vertebral metastases with epidural disease and intramedullary spinal metastases will be discussed in terms of epidemiology, pathophysiology, demographics, clinical presentation, diagnosis, and management. With respect to treatment options, our review will summarize the evolution of conventional palliative radiation to modern stereotactic body radiotherapy for spinal metastases and the surgical evolution from traditional open procedures to minimally invasive spine surgery. Lastly, we will review the most common clinical prediction and decision rules, framework and algorithms, and guidelines that have been developed to guide treatment decision making.

KEYWORDS:

clinical features; diagnosis; epidemiology; external-beam radiotherapy (EBRT); intramedullary spinal cord metastasis (MSCM); management; metastatic epidural spinal cord compression (MESCC); minimally invasive spine surgery (MISS); stereotactic body radiotherapy (SBRT); surgery

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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