What symptoms may be associated with an intradural spinal tumor

Because of the slow-growing nature of many tumors, symptoms tend to precede diagnosis by an average of 2 years. Pain is often the earliest symptom and is typically reported as occurring at night. The clinical signs and symptoms associated with an intradural spinal tumor are related to the level of the lesion along the spinal column (cervical, thoracic, lumbar, sacral) as well as tumor location within the dura and spinal cord (extramedullary, intramedullary). Motor dysfunction, sensory dysfunction, reflex abnormalities, long tract signs, and autonomic dysfunction (bowel, bladder and/ or sexual dysfunction) may occur. Extramedullary tumors frequently cause unilateral symptoms due to their eccentric location (i.e. unilateral radicular pain, unilateral spastic weakness, Brown-Sequard syndrome). Intramedullary tumors typically cause dissociated sensory loss (loss of pain and temperature sensation without loss of position and vibration sensation). Intramedullary tumors typically develop in the central region of the spinal cord and disrupt the spinothalamic tracts but spare the dorsal columns, which are relatively resistant to tumor infiltration. Pain is described as burning, poorly localized, and involving large areas of the body. Intradural tumors may present with acute neurologic deterioration secondary to subarachnoid or epidural hemorrhage.

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