Intraoperative placement of cod liver oil capsules over patients’ spinal cord tumors may aid in MRI localization, providing a safe, noninvasive and cost-effective approach to tumor excision, according to study findings.
The study included 35 patients with intradural extramedullary thoracolumbar tumors who underwent MRI localization the night before surgery. A total of 22 tumors involving the thoracic spine and 13 tumors involving the upper lumbar spine from L1 to L3 were included in the study.
Researchers placed nine capsules in three rows to cover each lesion, designed to guide the level for a minimally invasive excision approach using a hemilaminectomy.
Thirty-four patients (97.1%) had their tumors exposed at the correct level. Mean tumor size was 2.2 cm, and the mean duration of surgery was 1.4 hours. The one error of localization that occurred was thought to be due to a change in the positioning of the patient’s arms during the initial MRI and the subsequent surgery.
Although one patient with a lumbar schwannoma exhibited transient ankle weakness — which ultimately improved by the time of discharge — none of the other patients experienced neurological worsening or cerebrospinal fluid leakage, according to the researchers.
The researchers concluded that the technique is quick and avoids exposing the patient to any radiation. It can also reduce operating time if the surgeon is confident in using this method as a standalone localization technique.
Disclosure: The authors have no relevant financial disclosures.