Intramedullary Dermoid Cyst of the Cervical Spinal Cord – C5–C7 Level

Research paper by Seerangan, Palanisamy, Ashok, Aravinth Kumar, Mahendran, Jolarpettai Venugopal

Indexed on: 18 Apr '18Published on: 26 Mar '18Published in: Arquivos Brasileiros de Neurocirurgia : Brazilian Neurosurgery


Introduction Inclusion cysts of the spinal cord are rarely intramedullary. Such cysts are commonly located in the lumbar and thoracic regions and are usually associated with congenital spinal dysraphism and dermal sinus. Intramedullary dermoid cysts in the cervical region without spinal dysraphism are extremely rare. To our knowledge, only seven such cases are reported in the literature to date. Materials and Methods An 18-year-old female patient presented with weakness in all four limbs, more distal than proximal muscle weakness, that had been progressing for 3 years. The magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) showed an intramedullary lesion from C5– C7 with peripheral ring enhancement. “Whorls” were observed within the lesion on T2 weighted image, with associated excavation of vertebral bodies C5– C7. Operative procedure and findings: partial laminectomy of C5– D1was performed. The dura was opened. A small myelotomy was made in the root entry zone. About 1.5 ml of yellowish colored fluid was drained. White shiny debris with hair, whitish pultaceous content and teeth were removed. Complete excision of cyst and its wall was performed. Results The histopathological examination revealed that the cyst wall was lined by stratified squamous epithelium with underlying dermis showing hair follicles, sebaceous glands, adipose tissue and cyst filled with keratin debris suggestive of dermoid cyst. Conclusion The intramedullary location of the dermoid cyst in the cervical cord and the absence of any congenital spinal dysraphism make this case a very unique and rare entity and warrants its inclusion in the reported cases of rare intramedullary space occupying lesions.