Neurol India Home 

Year : 2021  |  Volume : 69  |  Issue : 5  |  Page : 1405--1408

Primary Spinal Intradural Ewing's Sarcoma: Hemorrhagic Presentation with Acute Neurological Deterioration in Two Pediatric Patients

Madhivanan Karthigeyan1, Puneet Malik1, Sushanta K Sahoo1, Pravin Salunke1, Sidharth Vankipuram2, Mala Sagar3, Ashim Das4,  
1 Department of Neurosurgery, PGIMER, Chandigarh, India
2 Department of Neurosurgery, KGMU, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, India
3 Department of Pathology, KGMU, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, India
4 Department of Pathology, PGIMER, Chandigarh, India

Correspondence Address:
Sushanta K Sahoo
Department of Neurosurgery, PGIMER, Sector 12, Chandigarh - 160 0l2


Extraosseous primary spinal intradural Ewing's sarcoma (ES) is an unusual entity. Bleed within such tumors with acute neurological worsening is extremely rare, especially in the pediatric age. In this article, we present two children with intradural-extramedullary ES who had sudden decline in their neurological status consequent to an intratumoral hemorrhage. We discuss their clinical course and also briefly review the pertinent literature. Spinal intradural Ewing's sarcomas possibly have a tendency to bleed. A short clinical symptomatology along with an acute neurological deterioration and radiologic evidence of intratumoral hemorrhage in a spinal intradural tumor should raise the suspicion of an ES.

How to cite this article:
Karthigeyan M, Malik P, Sahoo SK, Salunke P, Vankipuram S, Sagar M, Das A. Primary Spinal Intradural Ewing's Sarcoma: Hemorrhagic Presentation with Acute Neurological Deterioration in Two Pediatric Patients.Neurol India 2021;69:1405-1408

How to cite this URL:
Karthigeyan M, Malik P, Sahoo SK, Salunke P, Vankipuram S, Sagar M, Das A. Primary Spinal Intradural Ewing's Sarcoma: Hemorrhagic Presentation with Acute Neurological Deterioration in Two Pediatric Patients. Neurol India [serial online] 2021 [cited 2022 Jan 24 ];69:1405-1408
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Full Text

Ewing's sarcoma (ES), which belongs to the category of small round cell neoplasms frequently affects children aged less than 20 years and usually involves the long bones and pelvic region.[1],[2],[3] Its extraosseous form is relatively rare and accounts for approximately 20% of cases.[4] In spine, it often presents as paravertebral and epidural lesions.[5],[6],[7],[8],[9] Infrequently, ES can present as intradural tumors. An associated intratumoral bleed is extremely rare.[10],[11],[12] The literature on such manifestations is sparse, particularly in children.[11] Herein, we report a couple of intradural extramedullary pediatric ES that had acute neurological deterioration secondary to bleed within and discuss their clinical course and the relevant literature.

 Case Report

Patient 1

A 5-year-old girl presented with insidious-onset paraparesis of 1-month duration. On examination, she had mild limping during walking. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) revealed a large intradural-extramedullary tumor extending from D10-L3 levels causing expansion of spinal cord and compression of cauda equina. The lesion was of intermediate signal on T1, hyperintense on T2/STIR images, and showed intense contrast enhancement [Figure 1]. A myxopapillary ependymoma was kept as a differential.{Figure 1}

While the child was under evaluation, there was sudden worsening of weakness to flaccid paraplegia along with urinary retention over a span of few hours. She underwent urgent D10-L3 laminoplasty. After durotomy, the tumor started bulging out with evidence of multiple areas of hemorrhage [Figure 2]. It was mildly vascular, soft-suckable, and interspersed between the nerve roots. The caudal end of the spinal cord and conus region appeared edematous even after complete tumor excision. A lax duraplasty was performed.{Figure 2}

Histopathology revealed tumor cells arranged in form of diffuse sheets, clusters, and rosette formation with large areas of necrosis. They stained positive for CD99 and negative for CD45, FLI1, desmin, and myogenin. The Ki67 index was 20% [Figure 3]. The features were suggestive of ES. A systemic work-up excluded disseminated disease. The child received adjuvant chemoradiation. However, she showed no improvement at 6-month follow-up.{Figure 3}

Patient 2

A 3-year-old boy presented to the emergency department with complaints of breathlessness for 2 days. There was progressive weakness of all limbs over the past 2 weeks. He had spastic quadriparesis with power 3/5. MRI showed a contrast-enhancing intradural cervico-dorsal lesion extending from C6-D3 level, suggestive of a meningioma [Figure 1]. During surgery, we noticed a thick clot protruding out with evidence of intratumoral bleed [Figure 2]. The tumor was firm, vascular, and suckable and complete excision could be achieved. Postoperatively, the child required mechanical ventilation and expired on postoperative day 14. Histopathological analysis revealed ES [Figure 3].


ES is a highly malignant primary bone tumor, the origin of which is controversial.[13] Both neuroectodermal and mesenchymal cell lineages have been proposed. At times, ES may origin from paravertebral region, soft tissues of lower limbs, head and neck, chest wall, and retroperitoneum.[8]

Spine is a less frequent site and involved only in 3.5%–7% of patients. Frequently, these are epidural lesions or an extension from the vertebral body.[7],[9] Primary spinal intradural ES is uncommon and less than 30 cases have been reported.[9],[11] Though common in lumbar area, it can involve any part of spinal axis. ES usually affects children and young adults with a median age of 32 years.

In sporadic reports, primary spinal intradural ES have been shown acute neurological manifestations like cauda equine syndrome.[9] Such case in pediatric population is rare and only one case with acute paraparesis due to L2-3 lesion has been described in past.[11] These patients presented with cauda equina syndrome, acute paraplegia, or severe low backache. Our cases also suggest that these intradural tumors have a propensity to bleed. This possibly attributed to the highly proliferative nature of the tumor causing hemorrhagic necrosis.[6]

On imaging, they show iso-hyperintense on T1 and hyperintense on T2 sequences. With contrast, they display homogenous or heterogenous enhancement; a heterogenous enhancement might suggest hemorrhage or necrosis.[14] It is difficult to differentiate spinal intradural ES from ependymomas. The latter is also commonly seen in children and shares similar imaging features. Occasionally, spinal ependymomas are also known to present with hemorrhagic manifestations.[15] ES can also resemble other common intradural tumors like schwannomas and meningiomas as seen in our patient. A hemorrhage within the spinal intradural tumor might hint toward an ES although it is rare. ES should be considered as a differential, especially when accompanied with short clinical symptomatology and sudden neurological worsening.

ES is an aggressive tumor and requires multimodal approach with surgery, chemotherapy, and radiotherapy. With the advent of newer chemotherapy, extraskeletal ES has shown a more favorable outcome as compared with skeletal ES.[4],[16] In localized disease, such as the spinal ES, additional investigations are required to exclude systemic/metastatic disease. The management of spinal ES is maximal safe resection along with adjuvant chemoradiation.[6] In primary intradural ES, the 5-year overall survival rate was lower (43%) compared with that of the localized extraskeletal and skeletal ES (69.7% and 62.6%, respectively).[7],[16] The clinical experience for tumors that present with acute neurological worsening is currently limited owing to the rarity of such cases. Although the children described here showed poor neurological outcome, few reports have documented an improvement in motor power and bladder function after surgery.[6],[9] A possible reasoning for the observed difference could be the severity of the deficits at presentation. Before the surgical decompression, the child (Patient 1) had already suffered a complete spinal deficit as compared with those with less severe neurological grades reported from other studies. A timely intervention could possibly alter the postoperative neurology in such patients.


Although rare, extraosseous ES can present as primary spinal intradural lesions and resemble the commonly occurring intradural-extramedullary neoplasms. An evidence of hemorrhage on imaging and/or during surgery might suggest an ES in pediatric age group. Considering the fact, that these tumors tend to bleed and present with acute neurological deterioration, an early surgery is preferred. A high clinico-radiological suspicion could possibly alter the postoperative neurological outcome.

Declaration of patient consent

The authors certify that they have obtained all appropriate patient consent forms. In the form, the patient(s) has/have given his/her/their consent for his/her/their images and other clinical information to be reported in the journal. The patients understand that their names and initials will not be published and due efforts will be made to conceal their identity, but anonymity cannot be guaranteed.

Financial support and sponsorship


Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.


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