Dumbbell Neuroblastomas in Children

Denis King, MD; Joseph Goodman, MD; Thomas Hawk, MD; E. Thomas Boles Jr., MD; Martin P. Sayers, MD
Arch Surg. 1975;110(8):888-891. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1975.01360140032006.
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A "dumbbell" neuroblastoma is a malignant neoplasm usually primary in the mediastinum or retroperitoneum with posterior extension through an intervertebral foramen to additional tumor within the spinal canal. Neurologic deficits are found in almost all cases. Nineteen patients with such tumors were reviewed with respect to diagnosis, management, and results. Treatment consisted of prompt laminectomy with total or subtotal excision of the extradural tumor. The primary tumor in the mediastinum or retroperitoneal area was removed at a second stage. All patients received postoperative radiation therapy. Eleven of the 17 patients observed more than two years are free of disease, a cure rate much higher than the overall experience with neuroblastoma. Substantial recovery of neurologic function occurred in most, but kyphoscoliotic deformities were a disturbingly frequent late complication.


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