Study Design: Retrospective diagnostic analysis. Objectives: To establish a new predictor of surgical outcome after surgery for intradural extramedullary spinal tumor (IDEMT) in the thoracic spine, we introduced shape factor (SF), a mathematical description of the morphology of the spinal cord. SF was calculated by dividing object area by the square of perimeter. Materials and Methods: Forty-three consecutive patients with IDEMT, detected by magnetic resonance imaging at the thoracic level with myelopathic signs, were included. Preoperative transverse cross-sectional area (CSA) and perimeter of the spinal cord (perimeter) at the level of maximal compression were measured. SF was calculated as 4π × CSA/(perimeter)2. The association between clinicoradiological factors and surgical outcome of IDEMT was statistically analyzed. Results: Mean CSA, perimeter, and SF were 27.8 ± 15.8 mm2, 28.8 ± 6.1 mm, and 0.385 ± 0.14, respectively. A histogram distribution revealed that perimeter and SF, but not CSA, fit the normal distribution. The patients were subdivided into 2 groups according to postoperative modified Japanese Orthopedic Association Score (mJOA). [group F (favorable): n = 32, mJOA ≥ 9; group UF (unfavorable): n = 11, mJOA < 9). Group UF had significantly lower mean CSA and SF. In univariate analysis of possible predictive factors for IDEMT surgery, greater age, lower preoperative mJOA, and lower SF were significantly associated with unfavorable outcome. In multivariate analysis, lower SF was the only significant predictor of postoperative outcome (odds ratio = 2.66, 95% CI 1.10–6.39, p = 0.0115). Conclusion: Measurements of CSA and perimeter, followed by calculation of SF, may provide valuable quantitative information for the outcome of surgery for IDEMT.
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