Study design Retrospective case series. Objective To examine central neuropathic pain after surgical resection of intramedullary spinal cord tumor (IMSCT). Summary of background data Because of the rarity of IMSCT, there is little information about postoperative neuropathic pain after surgical resection. Methods Eighty-five of 105 patients treated surgically for IMSCT at our hospital between 2000 and 2008 completed the Neuropathic Pain Symptom Inventory (NPSI) and the short form (SF)-36 health inventory. The NPSI score was analyzed against the tumor type and the postoperative Japanese Orthopaedic Association (JOA) score for neurological symptoms. Results The mean NPSI score of the patients was 13.5. The subscore for paresthesia/dysesthesia was significantly higher than the other subscores. Analysis of the NPSI scores by tumor type revealed no significant differences among patients with ependymoma, astrocytoma, and vascular tumors. The postoperative JOA score showed a weak negative correlation with the NPSI score in patients with thoracic spinal cord tumor, and no correlation in those with cervical tumor. In the 11 patients with hemangioblastoma, intense pain was reported at the level of the tumor, although postoperative paralysis was mild. All the postoperative SF-36 subscores of our study patients were significantly lower than the national average, and a significant negative correlation was observed between the SF-36 and the NPSI subscores. Conclusion Neuropathic pain after surgical resection reduces the QOL of patients with IMSCTs, and pain severity varies with the tumor's location and histological features, the severity of paralysis, and the location of pain relative to the tumor.
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