Cauda equina syndrome caused by primary and metastatic neoplasms

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Cauda equina syndrome (CES) is defined as the constellation of symptoms that includes low-back pain, sciatica, saddle anesthesia, decreased rectal tone and perineal reflexes, bowel and bladder dysfunction, and variable amounts of lower-extremity weakness. There are several causes of this syndrome including trauma, central disc protrusion, hemorrhage, and neoplastic invasion. In this manuscript the authors reviewed CES in the setting of both primary and secondary neoplasms. They examined the various primary tumor types in this region as well as those representative of metastatic spread. Both surgical and nonsurgical management in this setting were studied.

Abbreviations used in this paper:AP = anteroposterior; CES = cauda equina syndrome; CNS = central nervous system; CT = computerized tomography; MR = magnetic resonance.

Cauda equina syndrome (CES) is defined as the constellation of symptoms that includes low-back pain, sciatica, saddle anesthesia, decreased rectal tone and perineal reflexes, bowel and bladder dysfunction, and variable amounts of lower-extremity weakness. There are several causes of this syndrome including trauma, central disc protrusion, hemorrhage, and neoplastic invasion. In this manuscript the authors reviewed CES in the setting of both primary and secondary neoplasms. They examined the various primary tumor types in this region as well as those representative of metastatic spread. Both surgical and nonsurgical management in this setting were studied.

Abbreviations used in this paper:AP = anteroposterior; CES = cauda equina syndrome; CNS = central nervous system; CT = computerized tomography; MR = magnetic resonance.

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Contributor Notes

Address reprint requests to: Ziya L. Gokaslan, M.D., Department of Neurosurgery, Meyer Building 7-109, The Johns Hopkins Hospital, 600 North Wolfe Street, Baltimore, Maryland 21287-7713. email: zgokasl1@jhmi.edu.

© AANS, except where prohibited by US copyright law.

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