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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2020  |  Volume : 15  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 70-75

Intramedullary metastasis to the cervical spinal cord from malignant pleural mesothelioma: Review of the literature and case reports


1 Department of Neurological Surgery, Galliera Hospitals, Genova, Italy
2 Department of Neurosurgery and Gamma Knife Radiosurgery, IRCCS San Raffaele Scientific Institute, Vita-Salute University, Milan, Italy

Correspondence Address:
Claudia Scudieri
Department of Neurosurgery and Gamma Knife Radiosurgery, IRCCS San Raffaele Scientific Institute, Vita-Salute University, Via Olgettina, 60 20132, Milan
Italy
Dr. Fotios Kalfas
Department of Neurological Surgery, Galliera Hospitals, Via delle Cappuccine, 16128, Genova
Italy
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/ajns.AJNS_234_18

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Context: Malignant mesothelioma is an aggressive tumor; median survival of patients following diagnosis is 12 months. Aims: Pleural malignant mesothelioma tends to spread along preexisting tissue planes and has the rare ability to spread along the nerve root into the spinal cord. In our case, there is an evidence of exceptional direct hematogenous spread to the spinal cord by the spinal branch of the intercostal arteries or the veins of Batson's plexus. Settings and Design: The authors report a case of intramedullary hematogenous metastasis to the cervical spinal cord from malignant mesothelioma, with a review of the literature. Materials and Methods: A 68-year-old male was admitted to our department because of a slowly progressive mild weakness of both low extremities, more pronounced on the left side. The patient has been treated for a malignant mesothelioma with left thoracotomy and subsequently underwent radiotherapy. Magnetic resonance imaging of the cervical-thoracic spine revealed a contrast-enhancing intramedullary expansive lesion of the left half of the spinal cord at the C6–C7 level. Results: The patient underwent surgical treatment through a C6–C7 laminectomy. Through a median posterior spinal cord incision, an intramedullary grayish lesion was completely removed. The paraparesis progressively improved and 20 days after surgery, the patient had regained normal lower extremity function. Conclusions: Malignant mesothelioma can spread to the spinal canal by the direct extension through the intervertebral foramina, by hematogenous spread to the spinal meninges, and by perineural growth along a single nerve root. The cleavage plane of the tissue may determine whether a successful gross total resection can be achieved with a good outcome for the patient.


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