Imaging for Spine Tumors and New Applications

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Objectives:Discuss intramedullary, intradural/extramedullary, and extradural spinal tumors including imaging characteristics with emphasis on MR and advances in treatment.Methods:Literature and institutional review.Results:Spinal tumors: intramedullary, intradural/extramedullary, and extradural, comprise a wide range of histological tumors with an even wider range of clinical symptoms and prognostic features. They are relatively rare and if left untreated, can cause serious neurological deficits and disability. An accurate diagnosis is therefore crucial in determining prognosis and directing therapy. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) has revolutionized the diagnosis of intraspinal tumors, allowing for early detection and improved anatomical localization. Magnetic resonance has also become an integral part in staging of both primary and metastatic neoplasms of the spine for guiding therapy and is an excellent modality for follow-up. Advances in MRI (perfusion and molecular imaging) may help refine and describe these neoplasms for accurate treatment and prognosis in the future. Surveillance protocols and role of magnetic resonance are not well established.Conclusions:Magnetic resonance plays an integral role in evaluation of spinal tumors with increasing role in staging and treatment.

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