How to diagnose Spinal Cord Ependymoma
Ependymoma is a very common tumor of the spinal cord
I will try to explain you how is spinal cord ependymoma diagnosed
This video is for non-medical persons who are either patients or their relatives and looking to know how is ependymoma diagnosed with radiology
MRI is a non-invasive imaging modality that uses magnetic resonance to visualize the spinal cord and surrounding tissues.
MRI is the preferred imaging method for evaluating spinal cord ependymoma due to its ability to provide detailed images of soft tissues, including the spinal cord and the tumor itself.
Spinal cord ependymomas usually arise from the ependymal cells lining the central canal of the spinal cord.
They are commonly found in the cervical and thoracic regions of the spinal cord.
Spinal cord ependymomas typically appear as well-defined, intramedullary (within the spinal cord) lesions on MRI.
They have a characteristic appearance of a well-circumscribed mass that is isointense or hypointense on T1-weighted images, and hyperintense on T2-weighted images.
Spinal cord ependymomas often show heterogeneous enhancement with contrast administration on post-contrast MRI images.
This means that some parts of the tumor may take up contrast more than others, which can help differentiate it from other types of spinal cord tumors.
Other Imaging Features
Spinal cord ependymomas may exhibit other imaging features on MRI, such as cystic areas within the tumor, calcifications, or peritumoral edema (swelling around the tumor).
These features can provide additional information for diagnosis and treatment planning.
In conclusion, MRI plays a crucial role in evaluating spinal cord ependymoma.
The MRI imaging features, including tumor location, appearance, enhancement pattern, and other relevant imaging features, can aid in the diagnosis and treatment planning of this condition.
But the final and definitive diagnosis is done by microscopic examination of the tumor.