Spinal astrocytoma

Case contributed by Dr Dima K. Kassab


Left torticollis, bilateral lower limb paraparesis. Right-sided weakness and stridor for one month duration.

Patient Data

Gender: Male

Spinal MRI sagittal and axial images show an ill-defined intra-medullary lesion occupying the cervical and thoracic parts of the spinal cord and causing expansion of the cord. It shows iso to low intense signal on T1, high intense signal on T2 with small cystic component distally. No haemorrhagic component. The lesion shows peripheral enhancement on post contrast images.

Axial T2 of brain shows no abnormal signal.

Case Discussion

Spinal astrocytoma is more common in children, sometimes affects the whole spine. The main differential is ependymoma, which can show haemorrhagic component and more usually show cystic component.

This case was proved by pathology to be low-grade glioma compatible with pilocytic astrocytoma (WHO grade 1). Immunostains show the following results: GFAP: positive, KI67: low.

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Case information

rID: 55424
Case created: 5th Sep 2017
Last edited: 17th Feb 2018
Inclusion in quiz mode: Included
Institution: Shefa medical complex

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