Post-radiation reactive changes in a single vertebral body mimicking metastatic pineoblastoma

Case report

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This 18-year-old woman presented with headache and diplopia over several months and was found to have an enhancing pineal tumor with resultant obstructive hydrocephalus. Following standard preoperative diagnostic tests, including spinal axis imaging, the patient was taken to the operating room for an endoscopic third ventriculostomy to relieve hydrocephalus and then subsequently underwent a craniotomy for gross-total resection of the pineal mass. The patient was discharged after an uneventful hospital course and received standard adjuvant cranial-spinal radiation and chemotherapy as an outpatient. Follow-up imaging 1 year after surgery demonstrated a metabolically active, lytic lesion in the C-3 vertebral body and new lung lesions suggesting a metastatic pineoblastoma. The patient underwent a C-3 anterior corpectomy and reconstruction without complication as aggressive therapy for presumed metastatic disease. Final pathological results from the vertebral lesion were consistent with radiation-induced reactive changes, not metastatic pineoblastoma as originally suspected. The patient recovered well and remains symptom free. To the authors' knowledge this is the first reported case of reactive changes mimicking metastasis in a single vertebral body following standard therapy for resected primary pineoblastoma.

Abbreviation used in this paper: PNET = primitive neuroectodermal tumor.
Article Information

Contributor Notes

Address correspondence to: Andrew T. Parsa, M.D., Ph.D., 505 Parnassus Avenue, M779, Box 0112, San Francisco, California 94117. email:parsaa@neurosurg.ucsf.edu.
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