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... Continue Reading →

Spinal Ependymoma: Typical Radiographic Appearance

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... Continue Reading →

Infection/Inflammation of Spine and Nerve Roots

The spinal cord is covered by protective outer connective tissue layers called the pia-arachnoid or leptomeninges.  Inflammatory or infectious processes that involve the leptomeninges, called leptomeningitis, can also involve the adjacent spinal nerve roots, which similarly have an outer covering of connective tissue that is continuous with the leptomeninges.  The image depicts a spinal cord with acute... Continue Reading →

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