Epidural Metastases

Which one of the following statements is TRUE regarding epidural metastases

a) Back pain due to epidural metastases is most often described as sharp and shooting.
b) Epidural metastases can present without any neurologic deficits.
c) New compression fracture in a cancer patient is diagnostic for epidural metastases
d) The most common presenting symptom is lower extremity weakness.

Correct Answer: b.

Tumor spreads to the epidural space most often from contiguous vertebral metastases. Spread into the epidural space occurs before neurologic deficits; epidural metastases can be diagnosed with MRI and treated to avoid permanent neurological deficits. Back pain is the most common symptoms, most often described as dull/achy pain.

Fast Fact #62: Epidural Metastases