Ependymal tumors are the third most common primary spinal tumor in adults, after meningiomas and peripheral nerve sheath tumors. WHO (World Health Organization) Grade II spinal ependymomas, like the one depicted on this sagittal MRI of the cervical spine, have a typical radiographical appearance featuring an intramedullary oval-shaped mass with contrast enhancement. Ependymomas are often well circumscribed tumors, making them amenable to surgical cure via gross total resection. The mid-center spinal location (best seen on axial imaging) is typical of ependymomas, reflecting their origin from the ependymal cells lining the central canal.
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