In this retrospective study, we report our experience of severe hydatid disease located to the spine and the adjacent spinal cord observed in 24 cases between 1970 and 1994. In our series the sex ratio was predominant for males, and the mean age was 29 years. Clinically, the patients presented predominantly with a motor deficit. The diagnosis was assessed on radiological and biological investigations and was confirmed preoperatively. Hydatid serology was positive in 7 out of the ten cases explored. On standard X rays, the bone lesions were frequent: lysis in 10 cases, vertebral deformation in 3 cases, costal invasion in 5 cases, and paravertebral collection in 2 cases. These lesions were predominantly located at the thoracic level. Myelography confirmed a complete blockade in 8 out of 11 cases. When possible, the CT scan confirmed the bone lesion in all of the 10 cases explored, with an intrathecal cyst in 7 cases and a paravertebral collection in 8 cases. Magnetic resonance imaging was possible in one case only. Medical antihelminthic treatment was indicated as the sole treatment in one inoperable case. All the other patients were operated on, and the adjunctive specific medical treatment was associated in 5 cases. Using a posterior approach in 20 cases, the operative technique consisted in a complete removal (if possible) of the invaded bone and soft tissue, thus achieving a complete relief of the spinal cord compression. Complementary bone fixation was indicated in 2 cases. During the postoperative follow-up, two patients died from infection and trophic ulceration, 11 patients improved and 8 patients remained unchanged. In 5 cases, a reoperation was indicated and performed from 2 to 4 times. Three patients were lost for follow-up. The severity of this affection is confirmed in the literature. A complete recovery is quite exceptional. The best treatment remains an active nationwide prevention of the disease.
Intradural extramedullary tuberculous spinal abscess is rare and has a poor prognosis if not diagnosed early and treated adequately. We report the case of 13 year-old boy who presented with an 8-month history of paraplegia. MR imaging demonstrated an intradural extramedullary spinal abscess in the mid-thoracic region. At operation, an encapsulated abscess was removed completely. The tuberculous nature was confirmed with microbiological testing. Postoperative antituberculous chemotherapy resulted in complete recovery. MR imaging can prove very helpful in early diagnosis of this condition, which is particular relevant in countries where tuberculosis is endemic.
The intramedullary localization of schwannoma is rare, corresponding to 0.3% of all intraspinal tumors. We report a case of intramedullary schwannoma without symptoms suggestive of neurofibromatosis. This patient presented with symptoms of spinal compression. Total removal of the tumor was achieved. The literature is reviewed about of this rare localization of schwannoma.
Tuberculosis of the central nervous system is uncommon. The intramedullary localization is exceptional. We report five cases of intramedullary tuberculosis observed in four women and one man with a mean age of 43 years. Two patients had a prior history of tuberculosis. Spinal cord compression was found clinically in all cases. The spinal MRI visualized the tuberculoma in all patients; two had a double tumor. Complete removal of the tuberculoma was possible in only one patient. Outcome was stationary for four patients.
We report the case of a 14 year-old patient presenting with a thoracic spinal cord compressing syndrome (T5-T6). The myelography and magnetic resonance imaging showed an intramedullary cystic mass. One year after the surgical excision of the capsule and an easy aspiration of the tumoral content, this patient had a good neurological recovery.