Intradural Juvenile Xanthogranuloma with Involvement of Multiple Nerve Roots: A Case Report and Review of the Literature

Cody Wolfe, Tarek Y. El Ahmadieh, Salah G. Aoun, Awais Z. Vance, Kimmo J. Hatanpaa, Bryan Wohlfeld

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Background: Juvenile xanthogranuloma (JXG) is a rare, non-Langerhans cell histiocytic disorder that primarily presents as multiple cutaneous lesions in young males. Solitary lesions in the spinal column are an especially rare presentation of this disease, and central nervous system involvement can portend a poor prognosis. We report an unusual case of an adult woman with an unresectable JXG of the lumbar spine. A review of the reported cases of thoracolumbar JXG and the current data regarding diagnosis and treatment are presented. Case Description: A 28-year-old woman presented with back pain and worsening lower extremity pain, numbness, and weakness. Magnetic resonance imaging demonstrated an enhancing lumbar mass. However, at surgery, no discrete mass was identified. Multiple roots were grossly enlarged, and electrical stimulation identified the L4 root with the most abnormal findings. Despite an attempt at debulking, most of the mass could not be safely removed. The patient experienced incomplete improvement of the symptoms postoperatively but elected to forgo chemotherapy. The 3-month follow-up imaging study showed active lumbar spinal disease, and imaging and follow-up examinations at 27 months revealed no changes. Her symptoms were satisfactorily controlled with conservative therapy. Conclusions: JXG of the spine is a rare disease with nonspecific clinical and radiographic findings that can make it difficult to diagnose and dictates the use of immunohistochemical staining. If possible, total surgical resection will offer the best outcomes; however, other modalities such as chemotherapy can be viable alternatives or adjuvant modalities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)189-196
Number of pages8
JournalWorld Neurosurgery
StatePublished - Nov 1 2018


  • Inflammation
  • Inflammatory spine disease
  • Juvenile xanthogranuloma
  • Spinal lesions
  • Thoracolumbar tumors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology


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