Intradural Extramedullary Spinal Neoplasms: Radiologic-Pathologic Correlation.
Radiographics. 2019 Mar-Apr;39(2):468-490. doi: 10.1148/rg.2019180200.
Koeller KK1, Shih RY1.
While intradural extramedullary spinal disease varies widely, identification of tumors in this location and their radiologic manifestations greatly facilitates narrowing of the diagnostic considerations. Meningioma and schwannoma are the two most common intradural extramedullary tumors, and both are associated with neurofibromatosis. Meningiomas are most common in the thoracic spine and show a strong female predilection and a clinical manifestation related to compression of the spinal cord or nerve roots. Schwannomas typically are associated with radicular pain and other sensory symptoms. Melanotic schwannoma frequently shows T1 hyperintensity at MRI related to the presence of paramagnetic free radicals in melanin. Neurofibroma, known for its T2 hyperintensity, frequently involves the cervical spine, where it may make surgical resection challenging. Less commonly, malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumor commonly mimics the imaging appearance of a schwannoma but has decidedly more aggressive biologic behavior. In the cauda equina, myxopapillary ependymoma and paraganglioma are believed to arise from the filum terminale and have characteristic imaging manifestations based on their underlying pathologic features. Recent identification of a common genetic marker has led to reclassification of what had previously been regarded as separate tumors and are now known as solitary fibrous tumor/hemangiopericytoma. In the proper clinical setting, the presence of nodular intradural enhancement strongly suggests the presence of leptomeningeal metastatic disease, even when results of cerebrospinal fluid analysis are negative. This article highlights the characteristic neuroimaging manifestations of these neoplasms, with emphasis on radiologic-pathologic correlation. See Illumination by Frazier .