Outcome Analysis in Cases of Spinal Conus Cauda Ependymoma PC12-PC16
Dr. Srikant Balasubramaniam,
Assistant Professor, Department of Neurosurgery, TN Medical College and BYL Nair Hospital,
Mumbai-400008, Maharashtra, India.
Introduction: One half of all central nervous system ependymomas, arise within the spinal canal and about 40% of these arise from filum terminale. The myxopapillary variant of spinal ependymoma almost exclusively occurs in the lumbosacral region and they are histologically designated as Grade I. Long term control is best achieved by gross total removal at the initial operation. There is as yet no consensus on the management of incompletely excised tumour. Opinions regarding radiotherapy are controversial and the indications are empirical.
Aim: In the present study, we investigated the clinical characteristics and long-term outcomes in patients with conus cauda ependymoma that were managed at our center with baseline comparison of our findings with those reported in literature.
Materials and Methods: A retrospective analysis of 44 cases of conus cauda ependymoma tumours treated at the Department of Neurosurgery at a tertiary care centre from January 2001 to December 2015 was done. Detailed scrutiny and analysis of the patient’s data with respect to the demographic features, clinical findings, investigative procedures, extent of surgical resection, intra and postoperative complications, efficacy of adjuvant therapy, postoperative results and long term follow-up were done.
Results: The analysis was done in 44 patients with conus cauda ependymoma over a period of 15 years. The mean age of presentation was 31 years. Incidence of male predominance was noted. Average duration of presenting features was 10 months. Back pain and motor weakness in the lower limbs were the commonest clinical findings. Total excision of the tumour was possible in 89% cases. Myxopapillary ependymoma was the commonest variant. Radiotherapy was only given in patients with near total to subtotal excision of tumour. Back pain and motor weakness improved in majority of patients after surgery. There is limited role of radiotherapy in cases with total tumour excision.
Conclusion: Conus cauda ependymomas are relatively benign tumours. The long term prognosis is excellent with respect to recurrence and functional outcome in cases with complete tumour excision. Early diagnosis and surgery will prevent occurrence of permanent neurological deficits. Radiotherapy can be given in cases of subtotal excision but there is limited role of radiotherapy in cases with total tumour excision.