Clinical outcomes following resection of paraspinal ganglioneuromas: a case series of 15 patients

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  • 1 Department of Neurosurgery, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center;
  • | 2 Department of Neurosurgery, Weill Cornell Medical College, New York, New York
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OBJECTIVE

Paraspinal ganglioneuromas are rare tumors that arise from neural crest tissue and can cause morbidity via compression of adjacent organs and neurovascular structures. The authors investigated a case series of these tumors treated at their institution to determine clinical outcomes following resection.

METHODS

A retrospective review of a prospectively collected cohort of consecutive, pathology-confirmed, surgically treated paraspinal ganglioneuromas from 2001 to 2019 was performed at a tertiary cancer center.

RESULTS

Fifteen cases of paraspinal ganglioneuroma were identified: 47% were female and the median age at the time of surgery was 30 years (range 10–67 years). Resected tumors included 9 thoracic, 1 lumbar, and 5 sacral, with an average maximum tumor dimension of 6.8 cm (range 1–13.5 cm). Two patients had treated neuroblastomas that matured into ganglioneuromas. One patient had a secretory tumor causing systemic symptoms. Surgical approaches were anterior (n = 11), posterior (n = 2), or combined (n = 2). Seven (47%) and 5 (33%) patients underwent gross-total resection (GTR) or subtotal resection with minimal residual tumor, respectively. The complication rate was 20%, with no permanent neurological deficits or deaths. No patient had evidence of tumor recurrence or progression after a median follow-up of 68 months.

CONCLUSIONS

Surgical approaches and extent of resection for paraspinal ganglioneuromas must be heavily weighed against the advantages of aggressive debulking and decompression given the complication risk of these procedures. GTR can be curative, but even patients without complete tumor removal can show evidence of excellent long-term local control and clinical outcomes.

ABBREVIATIONS

COG = Children’s Oncology Group; EMG = electromyography; ESCC = epidural spinal cord compression; GTR = gross-total resection; MIBG = metaiodobenzylguanidine; NBL = neuroblastoma; STR = subtotal resection.

Illustration from Kong et al. (pp 4–12). Copyright Qing-Jie Kong. Used with permission.

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