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21.01.2017 | Original Article | Ausgabe 7/2017

European Spine Journal 7/2017

Adult-onset intradural spinal teratoma: report of 18 consecutive cases and outcomes in a single center

European Spine Journal > Ausgabe 7/2017
Wei Wan, Cheng Yang, Wangjun Yan, Tielong Liu, Xinghai Yang, Dianwen Song, Jianru Xiao
Wichtige Hinweise
W. Wan and C. Yang contributed equally to this work and should be considered as first authors.


Study design

Eighteen consecutive patients with adult-onset intradural spinal teratoma underwent surgical treatment in our center from 1998 to 2013.

Background and purpose

Teratoma is defined as a neoplasm composed of elements derived from three germ cell layers (ectoderm, endoderm and mesoderm). Intraspinal teratoma is extremely rare and accounts for 0.2–0.5% of all spinal cord tumors. Moreover, teratoma occurs primarily in neonates and young children. Adult-onset intradural spinal teratoma is even rare. The aim of this study was to discuss the clinical characteristics, diagnosis and therapeutic strategies of adult-onset intradural spinal teratoma.


This retrospective study included 18 consecutive adult patients with intradural teratoma who were surgically treated in our center between 1998 and 2013. The clinical features, pathogenesis, diagnostic strategies and surgical outcomes were discussed. Neurological function outcomes were evaluated by the JOA scoring system.


Of the 18 included patients, 4 patients received subtotal resection and the other 14 patients received total resection. All the 18 cases were diagnosed with mature teratoma. The mean follow-up period was 79.7 (median 60.5; range 27–208) months. Local recurrence occurred in two of the four patients who underwent subtotal resection and in no patient who underwent total resection. The neurologic status improved in 16 cases and remained unchanged in the other two patients.


Adult-onset intradural spinal teratoma is extremely rare. To the best of our knowledge, this is the largest series of patients with this disease. Despite the slow-growth and indolent nature, radical resection remains the recommended treatment to reduce tumor recurrence.

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