Secondary tetraplegia due to giant-cell tumors of the cervical spine.


BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE Giant-cell tumor of the bone is a neoplasm which rarely affects the spine, and occurs even more infrequently above the sacrum. The symptomatology depends on the tumor site, and may be attributable to a compression mechanism. Spinal cord injury is seldom a complication and tetraplegia is even more infrequent. In this paper, we present an unusual case involving a giant cell tumor. We also review its possible diagnoses and treatments. CLINICAL CASE We present the case of giant-cell tumors in the cervical spine affecting C6 and C7, in a young woman who suffered tetraplegia due to spinal cord compression. After surgery and radiotherapy, the tumor reappeared, requiring a second operation. CONCLUSION Early clinical diagnosis of giant-cell tumors of the spine is difficult because their development tends to go unnoticed. Imaging techniques, especially MRI, help identify them; but their diagnosis still requires histopathologic tests. Resection of the neoplasm is recommended, when possible. Curettage may allow recurrence and radiotherapy may lead to sarcomatous degeneration of the tumor.

Cite this paper

@article{GarciaBravo2002SecondaryTD, title={Secondary tetraplegia due to giant-cell tumors of the cervical spine.}, author={Andrea Garcia-Bravo and Jes{\'u}s S{\'a}nchez-Enr{\'i}quez and Jos{\'e} Luis M{\'e}ndez-Su{\'a}rez and A Meli{\'a}n-Su{\'a}rez and Guillermo Miranda-Calder{\'i}n}, journal={Neuro-Chirurgie}, year={2002}, volume={48 6}, pages={527-32} }