A Nonenhancing World Health Organization Grade II Intramedullary Spinal Ependymoma in the Conus: Case Illustration and Review of Imaging Characteristics

Abstract

Spinal ependymomas comprise ~60% of all intramedullary tumors in adults. Ependymomas demonstrate distinct imaging features, such as central location within the spinal cord, symmetrical expansion, intra- and extratumoral cysts, hemosiderin caps, and strong enhancement on contrast-injected, T1-weighted magnetic resonance (MR) imaging. In adults, most ependymomas are myxopapillary, and in children, most are nonmyxopapillary. In general, nonmyxopapillary or classic ependymomas are hyperintense on T2- and hypointense on T1-weighted MR imaging, but whereas the signal intensity on T1 and T2 is variable, homogeneous contrast enhancement is usually a characteristic finding. Here, the authors provide an overview on spinal ependymomas with an emphasis on imaging characteristics and morphological background and present the case of a World Health Organization grade II ependymoma in the conus that did not enhance. Interestingly, the tumor contained a large hemorrhagic cyst. Just as hemorrhagic metastatic tumors may not enhance, a hemorrhagic ependymoma may likewise not enhance after administration of contrast agent. Thus, the differential diagnosis of a nonenhancing intramedullary lesion in the conus should include ependymoma, particularly if there is concomitant hemorrhage.

DOI: 10.1055/s-0032-1307260

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Cite this paper

@inproceedings{Fanous2012ANW, title={A Nonenhancing World Health Organization Grade II Intramedullary Spinal Ependymoma in the Conus: Case Illustration and Review of Imaging Characteristics}, author={Andrew A. Fanous and Gregory F. Jost and Meic H. Schmidt}, booktitle={Global spine journal}, year={2012} }