Intramedullary spinal cord ganglioglioma presenting as hyperhidrosis: unique symptoms and magnetic resonance imaging findings

Case report

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  • 1 Departments of Neurosurgery,
  • 2 Dermatology, and
  • 3 Surgical Pathology, Sapporo Medical University School of Medicine, Sapporo, Japan
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Hyperhidrosis is caused by a sympathetic dysfunction of the central or peripheral nervous system. Intramedullary spinal cord lesions can be a cause of hyperhidrosis. The authors report a rare case of intramedullary thoracic spinal cord ganglioglioma presenting as hyperhidrosis. This 16-year-old boy presented with abnormal sweating on the right side of the neck, chest, and the right arm that had been occurring for 6 years. Neurological examination revealed mild motor weakness of the right lower extremity and slightly decreased sensation in the left lower extremity. Hyperhidrosis was observed in the right C3–T8 dermatomes. Magnetic resonance imaging showed an intramedullary tumor at the right side of the spinal cord at the T2–3 level. The tumor showed partial enhancement after Gd administration. The patient underwent removal of the tumor via hemilaminectomy of T2–3. Only subtotal resection was achieved because the margins of the tumor were unclear. Histopathological examination revealed ganglioglioma. Hyperhidrosis gradually improved after surgery. Hyperhidrosis is a rare clinical manifestation of intramedullary spinal cord tumors, and only a few cases have been reported in the literature. The location of the tumor origin, around the right gray matter of the lateral spinal cord, may account for the hyperhidrosis as the initial symptom in this patient. Physicians should examine the spinal cord using MRI studies when a patient has hyperhidrosis with some motor or sensory symptoms of the extremities.

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Contributor Notes

Address correspondence to: Tomohiro Murakami, M.D., Department of Neurosurgery, Sapporo Medical University School of Medicine, South 1, West 16, Chuo-ku, Sapporo, 060-8543, Japan. email: tomohiro@sapmed.ac.jp.

Please include this information when citing this paper: published online November 30, 2012; DOI: 10.3171/2012.11.SPINE12530.

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