Intradural Spinal Tumour

What is Intradural spinal Tumour?

Intradural spinal mass lesions or tumours are uncommon compared to intracranial or extradural masses, and affect only a minority of the population, and can be challenging to diagnose. Most tumours in the spine are metastatic which means they spread from another part of the body into the spinal region. Intradural spinal tumours are located in the part of the dura in the spinal cord. Intradural tumours can be classified as intramedullary or extramedullary. Intramedullary tumour is known to be located within the spinal parenchyma, and extramedullary tumour is found within the dura, but outside the spinal parenchyma.

Common extramedullary tumours include meningiomas, and schwannomas, while intramedullary tumours include astrocytomas, and intramedullary ependymomas. It is a rare tumour that can be associated with dysraphic defects. The origin of these tumours is traditionally thought to be secondary to primordial germ cells.


Primary spinal cord tumours constitute 2% to 4% of all central nervous system neoplasms, and are characterized based on their location as intramedullary, intradural extramedullary, and extradural. Some common symptoms are:

  • Severe pain in the neck and back.
  • Neurological problems such as weakness or numbness in the arms and legs.
  • Focal spine pain that is worse in the morning.
  • Back pain along with constitutional symptoms.
  • Spinal nerve compression.
  • Incontinence and decreased sensitivity in the saddle area.



Some of the most probable causes of this disease are:

  • Defect in the genes.
  • Exposure to chemicals.
  • Inherited syndromes such as Von Hippel-Lindau disease and Neurofibromatosis.



The prime risk factors are:

  • A prior history of cancer.
  • Von Hippel-Lindau disease.
  • Neurofibromatosis.



To prevent the occurrence of this disease, one should take care of the following things:

  • Avoid stress and smoking.
  • Take a healthy diet and sleep.
  • Exercise regularly.

How is it diagnosed?

At Medanta, a complete examination of all organs where cancer is commonly found is done along with other evaluations:


How is it treated?

Steroids may be administered if there is evidence of spinal cord compression. These do not affect the tumour, but tend to reduce the inflammatory reaction around it.

Some other treatments include:


  • Radiotherapy

    It may be administered to patients with malignant tumours. Radiation is usually delivered to the involved segment in the spinal cord as well as to the uninvolved segment.


  • Surgery

    It is sometimes possible. The goal of surgical treatment for spinal tumours can include further diagnosis, pain relief, restoration of neurological function, or restoration of spine stability.


  • Radiation therapy

    The combination of minimally invasive surgery, and radiation or chemotherapy is a new technique for treating spinal tumours. Whether metastatic or primary, this treatment can be tailored to the particular tumour of the spine.

When do I contact the doctor?

You should immediately see a doctor, if your back pain is progressive, gets really bad at night, and if you have a history of cancer. Your problem will be taken care of very well by  the medical and clinical experts at Medanta. 

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