Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Pediatrics. 1986 Sep;78(3):438-43.

Incidence, presentation, and outcome of spinal cord disease in children with systemic cancer.


During a 40-month period, in 24 of 643 (4%) newly diagnosed patients with systemic cancer younger than 18 years of age (range: 3 months to 17 years) spinal cord disease developed. Patients with spinal cord disease included 21 children with metastatic spinal cord compression, two with treatment-related transverse myelopathies, and one with an anterior spinal artery stroke. Spinal cord disease occurred in 13 of 102 children (12%) with sarcomas, six of 82 (7%) with neuroblastomas, and four of 94 (4%) with lymphomas. Spinal cord compression occurred as the presenting sign of malignancy in six children (four with sarcomas and two with lymphomas). In the remaining 15 patients, cord compression occurred a median of 13 months after initial diagnosis, and in four patients it occurred at the time of first relapse. Symptoms of metastatic cord compression included back pain in 17 patients (80%), weakness in 14 (67%), sphincter dysfunction in 12 (57%), and sensory abnormalities in three (14%). Findings on plain radiographs of the spine were abnormal in only seven of 20 patients with cord compression, and myelography was needed to differentiate compression from other causes of spinal cord disease. Treatment included high-dose corticosteroids followed by operation (seven patients) or radiotherapy (14 patients). After treatment, nine of 15 nonambulatory patients became ambulatory, and five of 10 incontinent patients regained sphincter control. None of the patients with nonmetastatic spinal cord disease had a satisfactory outcome.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire
    Loading ...
    Support Center