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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 16  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 614-617

Surgical nuances of intramedullary white epidermoid cyst in the conus medullaris: A rare entity

Neurosurgery, Guru Gobind Singh Medical College and Hospital, Baba Farid University of Health Sciences, Faridkot, Punjab, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Amit Narang
Department of Neurosurgery Guru Gobind Singh Medical College and Hospital, Baba Farid University of Health Sciences, Faridkot - 151 203, Punjab
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ajns.AJNS_321_20

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Spinal epidermoid cysts (ECs) are benign slow-growing spinal tumors. The account for <1% of spinal tumors and are usually found intradural extramedullary. This report is regarding two rare cases of intramedullary white ECs present at the conus medullaris. In the first case, a 32-year-old male presented with a complaint of lower backache for 5 years, which progressively increased in intensity, radiating to the left leg. The patient had left lower limb weakness in the form of difficulty in walking. On examination, power of left knee and ankle was 4/5. Left extensor hallucis longus power was 3/5. Left Babinski sign was extensor. In the second case, a 42-year-old male, presented with a complaint of numbness over the left foot for 5–6 months. On examination, the power of the left ankle was 3/5, left extensor hallucis longus was 3/5. Both patients had EC in conus medullaris, which was hyperintense on T1-weighted magnetic resonance imaging and underwent laminectomy with the evacuation of the cyst with electrocoagulation of cyst epithelial lining. White ECs are extremely rare in the conus medullaris. Electrocoagulation of the cyst wall is like walking on a tight rope. Liberal electrocoagulation can lead to the neurological deficit but decreases the chances of recurrence. On the other hand, conservative electrocoagulation can lead to recurrence but decreases the chance of a new deficit. Recurrence should also lead to suspicion of atypical changes in the cyst wall, which may require adjuvant treatment such as radiotherapy and chemotherapy.

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