A 12-year epidemiologic study on primary spinal cord tumors in Isfahan, Iran

Payam Moein, Omid Behnamfar, Nima Khalighinejad, Ziba Farajzadegan, Salman Abbasi Fard, Mostafa Razavi, Parvin Mahzouni


  • Background: Although primary spinal cord tumors (PSCTs) comprise a minority of primary central nervous system tumors, they often impose a great deal of morbidity on their victims. Few epidemiologic studies have addressed PSCTs in Iran.
  • Methods: We analyzed the demographic/clinical features of all primary intraspinal tumors (with a specific focus on primary intradural spinal cord tumors) identified between 1992 and 2004 in three of the major related hospitals in Isfahan, Iran. We also tracked the malignant cases until 2012.
  • Results: 102 patients with primary intraspinal tumors were found; 82 tumors were intramedullary (36 intramedullary and 46 extramedullary) and 20 extradural. The principal intradural histological subtypes were nerve sheath tumor (33%), ependymoma (22%), astrocytoma (16%), and meningioma (15%). 20 (19%) of the tumors were malignant. Local pain (43%) and motor disabilities (36%) were the most common first-presenting symptoms in the patients. Male-to-female ratio was significant only in ependymoma (male:female ratio = 3.6, P < 0.05). The mean age in meningioma (57 years, standard error [SE]: 15.7) was significantly higher than other types (one-way ANOVA, P < 0.05).
  • Conclusion: our results reflect analogous frequency of distribution for PSCTs compared with most of the previous counterpart studies worldwide. The only notable exception was the comparatively fewer frequencies of spinal cord meningioma in our study.
  • Key words: Epidemiology, spinal cord neoplasms, survival rate

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