Early detection and treatment of spinal epidural metastases: the role of myelography.
Spinal epidural metastases were detected in 75 of 140 cancer patients with back pain who were evaluated prospectively by clinical criteria, spine roentgenography, and bone scan. Fifty-five of the 75 patients with epidural metastases had no evidence of myelopathy when diagnosed. Of the patients diagnosed and treated while still ambulatory, more than 90% remained so. Myelograms were performed in 127 patients to diagnose the 75 with epidural disease. To try to reduce the number of myelograms needed, we attempted to design radiotherapy ports based on clinical symptoms and the plain spine films alone. A port could not be designed for 64 of the 127 patients, either because of diffuse vertebral metastases or a normal plain roentgenogram. A port could be designed for 63 patients, and all epidural disease would have been encompassed in 50 of the 54 patients who had spinal epidural metastases (93%). Most patients with cancer and back pain require myelography for accurate treatment planning. There are, however, situations in which treatment can be determined based on symptoms and plain films alone, with a low risk of missing epidural cancer.
Published In/Presented At
Rodichok, L. D., Ruckdeschel, J. C., Harper, G. R., Cooper, G., Prevosti, L., Fernando, L., & Baxter, D. H. (1986). Early detection and treatment of spinal epidural metastases: the role of myelography. Annals of neurology, 20(6), 696–702. https://doi.org/10.1002/ana.410200608
Medicine and Health Sciences
Department of Medicine