High cervical spinal cord ependymoma

A operative video of Dekker et al. from the Department of Neurological Surgery, Neurological Institute, Case Western Reserve University, University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center, Ohio, illustrates resection of a High cervical spinal cord ependymoma in a 40-yr-old female with numbness of upper and lower extremities and ataxia. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) demonstrated an enhancing intramedullary intradural spinal mass at C2-3. The patient underwent a posterior cervical laminoplasty for tumor resection.

This video highlights the natural history of this disease, treatment options, surgical procedure, potential risks and complications, and postoperative management of ependymomas. A posterior midline skin incision was made from the inion to the level of C4 which exposed the posterolateral elements of C1-3. C2 and C3 lamina were removed as a single piece using the high-speed drill. A C1 laminectomy was then also performed to provide adequate superior exposure. The dura was opened widely in the midline. Careful midline myelotomy was then performed overlying the tumor. The tumor is noted to be densely adherent to the surrounding spinal cord. Gross total resection was completed using ultrasonic aspiration and microdissection. The dura was closed in a watertight fashion followed by a synthetic dural sealant. The bony elements of C2, C3 were then reconstructed using osteoplastic laminoplasty, titanium miniplates, and screws at C2-3. The wound was closed in multiple layers using sutures. Specimens were sent for frozen and permanent pathological analysis, eventually demonstrating WHO grade II ependymoma. There were no complications. Postoperative MRI demonstrated gross total resection. The patient had an uneventful postoperative course. The strength was at baseline at long term follow-up, with small sensory deficit 1).

Dekker SE, Glenn CA, Ostergard TA, Rothstein BD, Bambakidis NC. High Cervical Ependymoma Resection: 2-Dimensional Operative Video. Oper Neurosurg (Hagerstown). 2018 Aug 13. doi: 10.1093/ons/opy184. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 30107551.
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