Perineural Spread of Malignant Mesothelioma Resulting in an Intradural Spinal Cord Mass: Case Report

Journal of Neuro-oncology. 2006 Jul 19; [Epub ahead of print] [Link]

Perineural Spread of Malignant Mesothelioma Resulting in an Intradural Spinal Cord Mass: Case Report.

Hillard VH, Liu JK, Kwok A, Schmidt MH.

Department of Neurosurgery, University of Utah School of Medicine, 30 North 1900 East, Suite 3B409, Salt Lake City, UT, 84132, USA,


Spinal cord involvement by perineural spread of malignant mesothelioma is rare. We report a case of malignant mesothelioma that spread locally to invade the bony spine with both extradural and intradural perineural spread into the spinal canal that resulted in spinal cord compression. A 61-year-old man with a history of malignant mesothelioma presented with progressive leg weakness and right-sided arm weakness. Magnetic resonance imaging showed an enhancing lesion in the apex of the right lung with extension through the C7-T1 foramina with right hemicord enhancement. The patient underwent a C7-T1 laminectomy and right-sided C7-T1 and T1-T2 foraminotomies for neural decompression and biopsy of the lesion. Intraoperatively, tumor extended epidurally, and intradural perineural tumor spread along the C8 and T1 nerve roots into the spinal cord. Because it adhered to the spinal cord, no dissectible plane could be identified that would allow for safe total removal of the tumor. The epidural portion of the tumor, the adjacent involved bone, and the T1 nerve root were resected. Pathologic examination revealed malignant mesothelioma with bony invasion and perineural spread along the T1 nerve root. After decompression of the spinal cord, the patient had moderate improvement of his hand and leg function. Perineural spread of malignant mesothelioma resulting in spinal cord compression is an unusual clinical presentation. Intimate involvement of the spinal cord may prohibit aggressive tumor resection.