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This article is the author's final published version in Neurosurgical Review, Volume 46, Issue 1, 2023, Article number 258.

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Determine whether craniocaudal spinal cord tumor location affects long-term neurologic outcomes in adults diagnosed with spinal ependymomas (SE). A retrospective cohort analysis of patients aged ≥ 18 years who underwent surgical resection for SE over a ten-year period was conducted. Tumor location was classified as cervical, thoracic, or lumbar/conus. Primary endpoints were post-operative McCormick Neurologic Scale (MNS) scores at < 3 days, 6 weeks, 1 year, and 2 years. One-way ANOVA was performed to detect significant differences in MNS scores between tumor locations. Twenty-eight patients were identified. The average age was 44.2 ± 15.4 years. Sixteen were male, and 13 were female. There were 10 cervical-predominant SEs, 13 thoracic-predominant SEs, and 5 lumbar/conus-predominant SEs. No significant differences were observed in pre-operative MNS scores between tumor locations (p = 0.73). One-way ANOVA testing demonstrated statistically significant differences in post-operative MNS scores between tumor locations at < 3 days (p = 0.03), 6 weeks (p = 0.009), and 1 year (p = 0.003); however, no significant difference was observed between post-operative MNS scores at 2 years (p = 0.13). The mean MNS score for patients with thoracic SEs were higher at all follow-up time points. Tumors arising in the thoracic SE are associated with worse post-operative neurologic outcomes in comparison to SEs arising in other spinal regions. This is likely multifactorial in etiology, owing to both anatomical differences including spinal cord volume as well as variations in tumor characteristics. No significant differences in 2-year MNS scores were observed, suggesting that patients ultimately recover from neurological insult sustained at the time of surgery.

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

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