Cauda Equina Tumours In Adults: What To Look For On Magnetic Resonance (MR) Imaging | 33090
OMICS Journal of Radiology
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Introduction: The cauda equina is the collection of L2–L5 nerve roots originating from the terminal portion of the spinal cord (conus
medullaris). Tumours involving the cauda equina are uncommon, however are most commonly Myxo-Papillary Ependymomas
(MPE). Other differentials to consider include spinal schwannoma and paraganglioma.
Aim: To review the MR imaging features of common differential diagnoses of cauda equina tumour in adults, MPE, spinal schwannoma
Method: In this pictorial review, multi-phase MR images were presented to demonstrate characteristic features of cauda equina
tumours. The normal terminal spinal cord anatomy was the first be reviewed, followed by features characterising myxopapillary
ependymoma, spinal schwannoma and paraganglioma.
Results: Characteristic findings of the above tumours were discussed. In particular, patterns of enhancement, location, presence of
haemorrhage and quantity of tumours can help discriminate between these tumours.
Conclusion: Although MPE is the most common cauda equina tumour, the list of differential diagnoses is long. Identifying certain
MR features of these neoplasms can aid in pathological diagnosis and thus, influence surgical management.
Dayu Gai completed his MBBS from the University of Melbourne, Australia. He is currently a Neurosurgical at the Royal Melbourne Hospital and is keen to pursue a further career in radiology, subspecialising in neuroradiology.