Primary extramedullary spinal melanoma mimicking spinal meningioma: A case report and literature review

July 2014
Oncology Letters;2014, Vol. 8 Issue 1, p339
Academic Journal
Primary spinal melanoma is a rare lesion, which occurs throughout the cranial and spinal regions, however, is primarily observed in the middle or lower thoracic spine. The clinical features of primary spinal melanoma are complex and unspecific, resulting in a high misdiagnosis rate. In the present case report, a rare case of spinal melanoma exhibiting the dural tail sign and mimicking spinal meningioma is reported. The initial diagnosis, using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), was unclear. Thus, melanin-containing tumors and spinal meningioma should have been considered in the differential diagnosis. The tumor was completely resected using a standard posterior midline approach, which was followed by chemotherapy. Subsequent to the surgery, the patient was discharged with improved motor capacity and a follow-up MRI scan showed no recurrence after six months. The present study demonstrates that it is critical for neurosurgeons to focus on increasing the accuracy of initial diagnoses in order to make informed decisions regarding the requirement for surgical resection. The present case report presents the clinical, radiological and pathological features of primary extramedullary spinal melanoma mimicking spinal meningioma to emphasize the importance of early identification and diagnosis.


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