MR imaging of intradural extramedullary tumors
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Thirty-one consecutive intradural extramedullary spinal tumors examined with MR at 0.3 T were reviewed. In 13 of the patients myelography had been performed. There were 11 patients with meningeoma, 14 with neuroma, one ependymoma, 3 metastases, and 2 lipomas. All tumors were surgically removed and verified by histology. The intradural extramedullary location of the tumors was accurately assessed by MR imaging in all patients and by myelography in 10 of 13. The MR diagnoses were in accordance with the histologic findings in 74% of cases. Compression of the spinal cord or cauda equina with widening of the subarachnoid space above and below the mass or outward displacement of epidural fat was characteristic of the intradural extramedullary tumors. The signal intensity of meningeoma as well as of neuroma was slightly lower or equal to that of the cord on T1-weighted images, and equal to or higher than cord signal on T2-weighted images. Neuroma had a lower signal intensity on T1-weighted images and a higher signal intensity on T2-weighted images than meningeoma. Meningeoma appeared more homogeneous than neuroma and had a broad base towards the dura.