Primary intramedullary primitive neuroectodermal tumor of the cervical spinal cord. Case report.J Neurosurg Spine. 2006 Jun; 4(6):497-502.JN
Primary intramedullary primitive neuroectodermal tumors (PNETs) of the spinal cord are rare. Only six cases have previously been reported, all involving tumors in the thoracic or lumbar spine. The authors report the case of a 54-year-old woman who presented with quadriplegia and bladder and bowel dysfunction. The patient had suffered symptoms of neck pain for 1 month and left shoulder weakness for 10 days. Magnetic resonance imaging of the cervical spine revealed an intramedullary mass extending from C-2 to C-5 with an exophytic component in the adjacent left subarachnoid space. Multiple biopsy specimens were obtained, and a partial excision was performed. Histological examination revealed nodular growth and neuronal differentiation, with a striking resemblance to desmoplastic medulloblastoma. A positron emission tomography scan did not reveal uptake at any site. These findings confirmed the diagnosis of a primary intramedullary PNET. Postoperatively, the patient was given craniospinal radiotherapy with a radiation boost to the tumor bed.