Paragangliomas of the spine are rare tumors. Clinical presentations and courses of spinal paragangliomas are varied, and there are no standard principles of treatment to date. The purpose of this study is to explore the diagnosis, treatment and prognosis of spinal paragangliomas.Material and Methods:
The clinical data of 7 consecutive cases with complete medical records and follow-up results that were treated in our institutions from October 2000 to October 2011 was retrospected.Results:
There were 6 males and 1 female with a mean age of 40 years old (range, 1661). The follow-up period ranged from 40 to 98 months (mean, 72 months). Of the 6 primary spinal paragangliomas, one lesion was in the cervical intradural extramedullary space, one in the thoracic epidural space and four in the lumbar intradural extramedullary space. All received total resection and no recurrence was detected during the follow-up. Of the metastatic case, the lesion of spine was located in the first lumbar epidural space and vertebra.The patients underwent surgical resection two times with radiotherapy, but the tumor recurred and the patient suffered from the paraplegia of lower limbs and urine and stool incontinence during the follow-up. No patient died.Conclusion:
Spinal paragangliomas are a rare lesion and seldom considered in the presurgical differential diagnosis due to its rarity and nonspecific clinical symptoms and imaging features. Clinical follow-up was necessary to determine the outcome. Complete resection is necessary to prevent recurrence. The role of radiotherapy in the management of these lesions needs further assessment.