Document Detail

Chordoma of the thoracic spine in an 89-year-old.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  21866405     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
STUDY DESIGN: Case report and literature review.
OBJECTIVE: Report the highly unusual presentation of thoracic spine chordoma in an 89-year-old and review existing literature as it impacts treatment in the elderly. Chordomas are infrequent tumors of the spine that commonly present during mid-adulthood at the spheno-occipital or sacrococcygeal junctions. The mobile spine is affected in 10-15% of cases but chordomas are extremely rare in the thoracic spine. Chordoma rarely enters the differential diagnosis of spinal tumors in elderly patients, for whom metastases and multiple myeloma are by far the most common.
METHODS: A case report is detailed of an 89-year-old male presenting with incapacitating pain and early signs of thoracic myelopathy. A lytic, expanding lesion of the T10 vertebral body with epidural spinal cord compression was identified. In the absence of evidence of other primary tumor, a CT-guided needle biopsy revealed chordoma. A literature review of reported thoracic spine chordomas was also performed.
RESULTS: An intralesional posterolateral resection and reconstruction was performed with good results and no recurrence at 13 months' follow-up. 30 reports of thoracic spine chordomas were identified in the literature since 1902. Mean age of presentation at 35.7 years is earlier than for most chordomas. The oldest previously reported patient was 68-year-old. Neurological impairment at presentation is rare with the usual presenting symptom being pain. Response to radiation and chemotherapy is limited. 5-year survival rates range from 50 to 60%.
CONCLUSION: Chordoma is a highly uncommon epidural neoplasm of the thoracic spine and is vanishingly rare in elderly patients. This report documents the oldest reported patient with thoracic spine chordoma at 89-year-old. Their locally aggressive behavior typically prompts consideration of aggressive surgical resection. When tailored to the individual patient, such procedures are feasible without excessive morbidity even in elderly patients.
Ricardo Fontes; John E O'Toole
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Case Reports; Journal Article     Date:  2011-08-25
Journal Detail:
Title:  European spine journal : official publication of the European Spine Society, the European Spinal Deformity Society, and the European Section of the Cervical Spine Research Society     Volume:  21 Suppl 4     ISSN:  1432-0932     ISO Abbreviation:  Eur Spine J     Publication Date:  2012 Jun 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2012-06-07     Completed Date:  2012-10-25     Revised Date:  2013-06-27    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  9301980     Medline TA:  Eur Spine J     Country:  Germany    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  S428-32     Citation Subset:  IM    
Rush University Medical Center, 1725 West Harrison, Suite 1115, Chicago, IL 60612, USA.
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MeSH Terms
Aged, 80 and over
Chordoma / pathology*,  surgery
Spinal Neoplasms / pathology*,  surgery
Thoracic Vertebrae / pathology*,  surgery
Treatment Outcome

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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