Resection of myxopapillary ependymomas in children

Carlos A. Bagley, Karl F. Kothbauer, Sean Wilson, Markus J. Bookland, Fred J. Epstein, George I. Jallo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Scopus citations


Object. Currently, the optimal treatment of children harboring myxopapillary ependymomas of the spinal cord remains somewhat debatable. The authors present a retrospective study in which they evaluated the records of patients in whom resection of these lesions had been performed. Methods. Fourteen pediatric patients who had undergone resection of a spinal cord tumor between September 1982 and July 2004 were identified from the database as having histologically classified myxopapillary ependymomas. There were 10 boys and four girls ranging in age from 7 to 18 years (mean age 12.6 years); 71% of the patients were boys. The clinical presentation of the tumor's course was slow and indolent, and the patients had a mean symptom duration of 19.6 months. Twelve patients, who underwent a total of 16 operations, were available for long-term follow-up review. Thirteen gross-total resections and three subtotal resections were performed. There were no deaths due to surgery. Postoperatively, patients initially remained at their preoperative level of function or improved. Patients who had undergone previous surgery and radiotherapy were treated more conservatively than patients who were undergoing surgery for the first time. Four children experienced significant complications following treatment. Conclusions. As the authors demonstrate in this study, excellent outcomes may be obtained with the use of aggressive surgical techniques with the goal being that of gross-total resection. Despite the best of resections, however, the risk of recurrence remains. Therefore, periodic neuroimaging surveillance of the neuraxis and close clinical follow up are warranted throughout the patient's life. The role for adjunctive chemo- and radiotherapy remains to be defined in the management of myxopapillary ependymomas.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)261-267
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of neurosurgery
Issue number4 SUPPL.
StatePublished - Apr 2007


  • Ependymoma
  • Intradural
  • Myxopapillary ependymoma
  • Pediatric neurosurgery
  • Spine tumor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology


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