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Year : 2003  |  Volume : 51  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 193--196

Foramen magnum tumors: A series of 30 cases

Department of Neurosurgery, AIIMS, Ansari Nagar, New Delhi-110029, India

Correspondence Address:
P Sarat Chandra
Department of Neurosurgery, Room 720, C.N. Centre, All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), Ansari Nagar, New Delhi-110029
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

PMID: 14571001

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Background and Aims: Foramen magnum tumors, especially those located ventrally, are surgically challenging. We studied clinical and surgical details of extramedullary tumors located in the region of the foramen magnum. Material and Methods: A series of 30 cases of extramedullary tumors at the foramen magnum, operated over a period of 8 years is presented. Results: There were 10 neurofibromas, 8 meningiomas, 6 chordomas, 2 tuberculomas and 4 miscellaneous tumors. The clinical profile consisted of sensory symptoms in all the patients, quadriparesis in 24, lower cranial nerve affection in 8 and sphincter disturbances in 6 patients. The surgical approaches consisted of an extreme lateral approach in 10, a posterior or posterolateral approach in 18 and a per-oral route in 2 cases. Total excision of the tumor was performed in 24 and a subtotal excision of the tumor was done in 6 cases. Two patients died, one due to meningitis and the other due to chest infection. Eight other patients had complications like CSF leak, meningitis, pseudomeningocele, laryngeal edema, and transient worsening of neurological deficits. Conclusions: Foramen magnum tumors have long been regarded as difficult lesions both in terms of diagnosis and management. However, with the availability of MR imaging, newer surgical techniques and skull basal exposures, the excision of these lesions is becoming easier and safer.


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Online since 20th March '04
Published by Wolters Kluwer - Medknow