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Print version ISSN 1130-1473


URCULO, E. et al. Spinal cord compression due to a epidural lipoma. Neurocirugía [online]. 2008, vol.19, n.2, pp.156-160. ISSN 1130-1473.

Introduction. The spinal extradural space is normally occupied by adipose tissue and a venous plexus, so it should be not surprising that lipomas arise and reach sufficient size to compress symptomatically the spinal cord. Nevertheless, the spinal epidural lipomas are rare and benign tumours may present as a progressive spinal cord compression syndrome. Magnetic resonance imaging is useful in demonstrating the full extent and characteristics of these lesions, the severity of cord compression and the location in the canal. Usually, the lesion is amenable to total surgical extirpation and the functional prognosis is good. Histopathologically the tumour consists of a mature adipose cells matrix intermixed with vascular endothelial channels, that is the reason why it is also named angiolipomas. Case report. A 47 year-old woman complained of dorsal and bilateral submamarian pain lasting two years and progressive loss of sensibility and weakness in her legs. Following magnetic resonance studies a posterior spinal cord compression by an extradural tumour at T3-T7 levels was observed. She was operated on and we found an extradural yellow tumour easily to dissect and it was completely removed. One year later she is asymptomatic. Conclusions. Spinal epidural lipoma is a benign tumour which initially presents itself with local or radicular pain accompanied by progressive spinal cord compression syndrome. The choice treatment is laminectomy and total excision. Probably, this is one of the easiest tumours to remove of the spinal canal and a source of satisfaction because a complete recovery can usually be achieved.

Keywords : Spinal extradural space; Spinal cord compression syndrome; Lipoma; Angiolipoma; Magnetic Resonance Imaging.

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