Neuroblastoma presenting with symptoms of epidural compression at birth: A case report

Chiara Suffia, Stefania Sorrentino, Simona Vetrella, Delfina Bifano, Marilina Nantron, Bruno De Bernardi, Carlo Gandolfo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Five to 10 % of children with neuroblastoma present with symptoms of epidural compression (EC). More than half these patients are diagnosed in the first year of life. The case of a neuroblastoma presenting symptoms of EC at birth is exceptional and deserves to be reported. Case presentation: We describe a case of female born at the 36th week of pregnancy by caesarian section decided following ultrasonographic discovery of oligohydramnios. At birth, she was noted to have motor deficit involving both legs and continuous urinary dripping. These symptoms were found to be secondary to a paraspinal neuroblastoma infiltrating the spinal canal. Tumor responded well to chemotherapy, but neurologic deficit only slightly improved and bladder dysfunction remained unchanged. At 2 years of age, patient is able to walk with help of leg orthoses, suffers chronic constipation requiring daily medications, and has neurologic bladder necessitating multiple daily catheterizations. Conclusions: The finding of a newborn presenting with symptoms of EC secondary to a neuroblastoma invading the spinal canal is quite uncommon. The case described herewith confirms that these rare patients have an excellent survival probability, but almost always develop severe functional sequelae.

Original languageEnglish
Article number52
JournalItalian Journal of Pediatrics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - May 21 2016


  • Case report
  • Epidural compression
  • Late sequelae
  • Neuroblastoma
  • Newborn

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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