A thoracic vertebral localization of a metastasized cutaneous Merkel cell carcinoma: Case report and review of literature

Domenico Iacopino, Antonella Giugno

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Abstract

Background: Merkel cell carcinoma (MCC) is a rare neuroendocrine skin tumor, which may be related to sun exposure. It can metastasize to lungs, liver and bone, leading to severe morbidity and mortality. Vertebral metastases from MCC are rare. The authors report the tenth case in the literature, a 59-year-old patient with MCC, which was primarily localized in the scalp, and later provoked distant metastasis to the thoracic spinal column. Case Description: A 59-year-old woman was admitted at our Unit of Neurosurgery with a 4-month history of progressive and severe dorsal back pain, without neurological signs. The patient had been surgically treated for a recidivated MCC in the occipital region in 2007, 2011, and 2013. (In 2013, the surgical treatment also included lateral cervical lymph node dissection). Chemotherapy and radiotherapy had come after the treatments. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the dorsal spine showed metastatic vertebral involvement with cord impingement of the T7-T8 levels. A total body CT scan revealed lungs and liver metastases, besides vertebral district. After a multidisciplinary consult a palliative surgery was decided and a posterior dorsal approach was employed: Radiofrequency (RF) thermoablation was followed by the injection of cement of T7 and T8 and transpedicle fixation T5-T9. The postoperative course was uneventful and followed by a further adjuvant therapy Conclusion: Spinal metastases from MCC are described in literature only exceptionally. The clinical course is presented, along with a review of literature.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-5
Number of pages5
JournalSurgical Neurology International
Volume8
Publication statusPublished - 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology

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