Multiple extraspinal recurrences of ependymoma 13 years after spinal cordectomy: Case report

Wittstatt Alexandra Whitaker-Lea, Robert Scott Graham, Jan Paul Muizelaar, Hope T. Richard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Ependymomas of the spinal cord remain confined to the CNS and vary in presentation, depending on WHO grade. Higher-grade lesions usually cannot be surgically removed due to their infiltrative growth pattern. Spinal cordectomy has been proposed as a rescue treatment to improve survival in patients with high-grade as well as recurrent lesions. This report details an instructive and unique case of long-term follow-up of a patient who underwent cordectomy from T-4 through S-5 for what was initially diagnosed as a high-grade glial neoplasm of the spinal cord in 1993. The patient lived symptom free for 13 years after spinal cord resection and then presented with numerous bilateral extraspinal (intraabdominal and intrathoracic) tumors, which eventually led to her death 15 years after the cordectomy. In this case, spinal cordectomy was effective in preventing the ascending spread of the neoplasm, but ultimately not effective in preventing recurrence in the plicated distal dural sac.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)92-96
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Neurosurgery: Spine
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 1 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Ependymoma
  • Oncology
  • Spinal cordectomy
  • Surgery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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