Surgical Consideration for Adolescents and Young Adults With Cervical Chordoma

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Abstract

Study Design.

Retrospective study.

Objective.

The aim of this study was to compare the clinical outcomes between adolescent and young adult (AYA) patients and old adult patients with cervical chordoma who were treated surgically and present the surgical consideration for adolescents and young adults with cervical chordoma.

Summary of Background Data.

With predominance in senior patients, chordoma is distinctively rare in AYAs. Because of the rarity of AYA chordoma, individual case report represents most of the literature on this disease entity on mobile spine and lack of long-term follow up, which leads to the paucity of clinical evidence for treatment planning and prognosis prediction.

Methods.

A retrospective study was conducted to investigate the prognosis of AYA patients with cervical chordoma who were treated surgically. We collected the clinical data of these patients and their older counterparts, and further compared the prognosis of the patients in different age groups. To estimate survival curves, Kaplan-Meier method was used, and significance was assessed using a log-rank test.

Results.

Forty consecutive patients with chordoma of the cervical spine treated in our institution were included in the study. Two groups were identified according to age. Group 1 comprised children and adolescents (age ≤ 25 yrs; n = 9) and Group 2 comprised adults (age > 25 years; n = 31). In comparison, Group 1 was featured by significantly higher rate of recurrence and shorter overall survival, although no difference found in the surgical modality between two groups.

Conclusion.

There is a dismal prognosis in young patients with chordoma, and thus support the notion that as radical a total en bloc spondylectomy (TES) of the lesions as possible may benefit the overall survival of these young patients. Although the ensuing neurological deficits may be devastating, it will be worth sacrificing if the life expectancy of these young patients is prolonged.

Conclusion.

Levels of Evidence: 4

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