Intramedullary ependymoma: long-term outcome after surgery

Acta Neurochirurgica (2018) 160:439–447

Overall (OS) and progression-free survival (PFS) of patients undergoing spinal ependymoma resection has been frequently reported. Contrarily, OS and PFS of purely intramedullary ependymomas have not been clearly determined yet.

Methods The data of 37 patients undergoing resection of an intramedullary ependymoma (IE) from January 2000 to December 2016 were analysed retrospectively.

Results The mean age was 46 years. The male:female ratio was 24:13. The median duration of symptoms was 12 months. Sixtytwo per cent of ependymomas were in the cervical, 24% in the thoracic, and 14% in the conus region in our series. The median volume was 1.3 ml. A syrinx was found in 49%and a cyst in 32%. GTR was achieved in 89%, STR in three (8%), and PR in one patient (3%). Median follow-up was 114 months. PFS was 87%, 82%, and 82%at 5, 10, and 15 years, respectively. OS was 97%, 88%, and 63% at 5, 10, and 15 years, respectively. There was a significant difference in PFS depending on the extent of resection and in OS depending on the pre-operative clinical status. There was no significant difference in OS and PFS regarding the other examined influencing factors.

Conclusion GTR resection was the most important factor influencing PFS. According to our results OS of IEs is much worse than that of spinal ependymomas. Our analysis confirms that patients with good pre-operative (McCormick grade 1 and 2) clinical status have significantly better OS than patients with McCormick grade 3 and higher.