- The leading primary sites
of metastatic tumors to the spine in order of frequency are lung, breast and
- Spinal metastases can
be either epidural, producing spinal cord compression, or, more rarely, intramedullary.
The latter occurs with advanced metastatic disease and is associated with
a very poor prognosis.
- Gross pathology: metastatic
- Medulloblastoma; drip
metastases from a cerebellar tumour flow down through subarachnoid space via
CSF. These can encase lower spinal cord (left: gross pathology; right: CT
of lumbar spine)
- MRI images of metastatic
lesions to the spinal cord (below)