Objectives Primary spinal tumours in children are rare and poorly understood; we review 10 years of surgical experience.
Design Retrospective review of prospectively maintained database.
Subjects Children receiving surgical management of primary spinal tumours in a single, tertiary paediatric neurosurgery centre.
Methods Operations for primary spinal tumours were abstracted from our prospectively maintained surgical database and supplemented with data from case notes, operative records, and imaging studies.
Results Between 2008 and 2017, 37 procedures were performed on 29 patients (19 male; Median age 7.5 years, IQR 2–11.25). 28 had their primary procedure in our unit: 21 excisions, and 7 biopsies (of which 5 proceeded to further surgery). Tumours were classified as extradural (10), intradural extramedullary (3), intradural intramedullary (11) or bony (4). Tumours were found at the following levels: Cervical (8; 29%), Cervicothoracic (2; 7.1%), Thoracic (10; 36%), Thoracolumbar (3; 11%), Lumbar (2; 7.1%), Lumbosacral (2; 7.1%) and Sacral (1; 3.6%). Histology comprised: Pilocytic Astrocytoma (6), Other Astrocytoma (4), Schwannoma (3), Ewing Sarcoma (2), Langerhans cell histiocytosis (2), Lymphoma (2), Neurofibroma (2), and others (7) including one Myxopapillary Ependymoma.
Conclusions The rarity and heterogeneity of paediatric spinal tumours makes treatment challenging. We propose a national online registry including a tissue bank, and invite collaboration with other units.
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