Spinal Ependymoma: Gross Specimen

Ependymomas are tumors that arise from specialized glia called ependymal cells, which line the central cerebral spinal fluid (CSF) containing spaces within the brain and spinal cord called the ventricles and central canal, respectively. When ependymomas occur in the spinal cord, their central location requires that the surgeon cut through the spinal cord in order to remove it, usually via an incision through the midline posterior aspect of the cord between the dorsal columns. Also, as this gross image nicely demonstrates, spinal cord ependymomas can span several vertebral levels as they extend up and down the length of the cord.

spinal ependymoma
Spinal Ependymoma:  Gross Specimen

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