Items in AFP with MESH term: Spinal Cord Compression
ABSTRACT: Neurologic complications continue to pose problems in patients with metastatic prostate cancer. From 15 to 30 percent of metastases are the result of prostate cancer cells traveling through Batson's plexus to the lumbar spine. Metastatic disease in the lumbar area can cause spinal cord compression. Metastasis to the dura and adjacent parenchyma occurs in 1 to 2 percent of patients with metastatic prostate cancer and is more common in those with tumors that do not respond to hormone-deprivation therapy. Leptomeningeal carcinomatosis, the most frequent form of brain metastasis in prostate cancer, has a grim prognosis. Because neurologic complications of metastatic prostate cancer require prompt treatment, early recognition is important. Physicians should consider metastasis in the differential diagnosis of new-onset low back pain or headache in men more than 50 years of age. Spinal cord compression requires immediate treatment with intravenously administered corticosteroids and pain relievers, as well as prompt referral to an oncologist for further treatment.
ABSTRACT: Interventional radiologists have been performing image-guided spinal procedures for many years. Percutaneous vertebroplasty is a newer technique in which a medical grade cement is injected though a needle into a painful fractured vertebral body. This stabilizes the fracture, allowing most patients to discontinue or significantly decrease analgesics and resume normal activity. The impact of this procedure on the morbidity and expense associated with symptomatic osteoporotic vertebral compression fractures in the United States may be significant. Patients who are unresponsive to conservative therapy of bed rest, analgesics, and back bracing should be considered for vertebroplasty. This procedure is contraindicated in patients with active infection, untreated coagulopathy, and certain types of fracture morphology. Because many patients have multiple chronic fractures, there should be a strong correlation between the physical examination signs, symptoms, and cross-sectional imaging findings. The success rate for this procedure in treating osteoporotic fractures is 73 to 90 percent. Vertebroplasty can effectively treat aggressive hemangiomas of the vertebral body and may be palliative in patients with malignant pathologic fractures. Significant complications of the procedure are less than 1 percent.
Treatment of Oncologic Emergencies - Article
ABSTRACT: Most oncologic emergencies can be classified as metabolic, hematologic, structural, or side effects from chemotherapy agents. Tumor lysis syndrome is a metabolic emergency that presents as severe electrolyte abnormalities. The condition is treated with allopurinol or urate oxidase to lower uric acid levels. Hypercalcemia of malignancy is treated with aggressive rehydration, furosemide, and intravenous bisphosphonates. Syndrome of inappropriate antidiuretic hormone should be suspected if a patient with cancer presents with normovolemic hyponatremia. This metabolic condition usually is treated with fluid restriction and furosemide. Febrile neutropenia is a hematologic emergency that usually requires inpatient therapy with broad-spectrum antibiotics, although outpatient therapy may be appropriate for low-risk patients. Hyperviscosity syndrome usually is associated with WaldenstrÃ¶m's macroglobulinemia, which is treated with plasmapheresis and chemotherapy. Structural oncologic emergencies are caused by direct compression of nontumor structures or by metastatic disease. Superior vena cava syndrome presents as neck or facial swelling and development of collateral venous circulation. Treatment options include chemotherapy, radiation, and intravenous stenting. Epidural spinal cord compression can be treated with dexamethasone, radiation, or surgery. Malignant pericardial effusion, which often is undiagnosed in cancer patients, can be treated with pericardiocentesis or a pericardial window procedure.
Vertebroplasty: Weighing the Benefits and the Risks - Editorials