1 year history of right-sided sensory disturbance ascending to his mid-chest, associated with a limp.
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Specimen Type: Spinal Tissue, d3/4 tumour fresh
Clinical Details: Mild hemicord syndrome.
Imaging and Tumour Site: D3/4 intradural lesion: dermoid?
Macroscopy: 3 pieces of light brown tissue, the largest measuring 1.1 cm.
Histology: This is collagenous tissue lined by pseudo-stratified epithelium which, in areas, is columnar and ciliated, and in others is cuboidal or flattened. Smooth muscle is present.
Diagnosis: Neurenteric (enterogenous) cyst.
The differential for an intra-dural, extramedullary lesion includes lipoma, epidermoid or dermoid cyst, neurenteric cyst, arachnoid cyst, nerve sheath tumour, meningioma, paraganglioma and metastases. In this case, the lack of high signal suppression on STIR indicates that the lesion is not of fat composition.
The combination of a lesion anterior to the cord and multple segmentation anomalies should strongly suggest a neurenteric cyst, as was histologically proven in this case. The high T1 signal can be ascribed to proteinaceous material within the cyst.
A neurenteric cyst is due to the persistence of the neurenteric canal (canal of Kovalevsky). This results in a potential tract from the mesentery of the gut, passing through malsegmented vertebrae, the spinal canal and cord, through bifid laminae and into the dorsal skin. In practice, the fistula is not fully patent, and a neurenteric cyst is most commonly seen anterior to the cord. At surgery, a fibrous tract to the mediastinum, mesentery or vertebrae may be seen.
- 1. Rufener S, Ibrahim M, Parmar HA. Imaging of congenital spine and spinal cord malformations. Neuroimaging Clin N Am. 2011 Aug;21(3):659-76
- 2. Brooks BS, Duvall ER, El Gammal T et-al. Neuroimaging features of neurenteric cysts: analysis of nine cases and review of the literature. AJNR Am J Neuroradiol. 1993;14 (3): 735-46. AJNR Am J Neuroradiol (abstract) - Pubmed citation
- 3. Scott W. Atlas. Magnetic Resonance Imaging of the Brain and Spine. ISBN-10: 078176985X. Lippincott Williams and Wilkins; 4th Revised edition
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