Spinal schwannoma and renal cell carcinoma

Case contributed by Assoc Prof Craig Hacking


Back pain

Patient Data

Age: 40 years
Gender: Male

Intradural extramedullary mass at the level of L1/2 extending from the level of the conus measuring 16 x 13 x 37 mm (LR x AP x SI). The conus terminates at L1. The mass is isointense to cord on T1 and demonstrates vivid fairly homogeneous contrast enhancement. The mass displays heterogeneous T2 signal - predominately slightly hyperintense to cord with some more hyperintense foci. The lesion occupies most of the canal resulting in splaying and compression of the traversing cauda equina nerve roots. No appreciable dural tail or extension into the intervertebral foramina. No other mass or abnormal enhancement detected in the spinal canal.

There is a wedge compression fracture of the L2 vertebral body associated with moderate loss of height. Vertebral body height is otherwise maintained. Alignment of the imaged spine is intact. Elsewhere, the canal is capacious and there is no intervertebral foraminal stenosis.

There is a partially imaged complex predominantly T2 hyperintense mass in the superior pole of the right kidney measuring 4.3 x 3.1 cm.


The differential diagnosis for the intradural extramedullary mass at L1/2 is meningioma, nerve sheath tumor and myxopapillary ependymoma. This results in cauda equina compression.

Incompletely imaged right renal mass is highly suspicious for RCC. Taking this into account, the possibility of a dural metastasis is raised although considered far less likely.

Case Discussion

Histology = schwannoma

CT abdo showed RCC right kidney.

PlayAdd to Share

Case information

rID: 42001
Published: 6th Jan 2016
Last edited: 14th Aug 2019
System: Spine
Inclusion in quiz mode: Included

Updating… Please wait.

 Unable to process the form. Check for errors and try again.

 Thank you for updating your details.